United chairman Sumrith Thanakarnjanasuth wrote the following notes that appear in the match programme against Barnsley:
Good evening everyone and thank you for coming to support us against Barnsley. It is a big game against one of the best teams we have played but our players will, I am sure, want some revenge after the opening day of the season. After beating the leaders in our last home game I know we are more than capable of getting a similar result tonight.
I enjoyed that Portsmouth game very much. I flew in that morning and then spent two hours meeting with the local media and the fans group OxVox before the game. Although I am in contact with everyone at the club on a regular, daily, basis it is also important for me to try and meet people face to face as often as possible. Over that weekend we had a very long recruitment meeting, I spent most of Sunday with Niall McWilliams looking at all possibilities should we choose to relocate, spent time with Karl and spent much of Monday with fellow Board members and investors trying to find the best way to work more efficiently.
I will not lie: we have made mistakes over the last six months, some of them very public. There has always been a plan and a structure in place and everything is done in what we believe are the best interests of the football club. Maybe it has taken a little longer than we thought for all of the hidden costs and problems to come to the surface, but that is natural with any business and between us we have many years of experience and so would expect that to happen. You need to be flexible and I hope that now we have the full picture and can adjust how we work. Hopefully things become a lot easier from now on.
After the Portsmouth game we travelled to Bury and sadly went out of the Checkatrade Trophy. It was a poor performance and afterwards Karl offered a refund for fans who travelled and deserved better. I didn’t go in the end due to business meetings but wish I had; would he have paid my airfare from Thailand? More seriously, our thanks to those who did go and we are sorry that there will be no trip to Wembley this season.
Instead we have just one simple target. The dreams we had of the play-offs have gone and now we have the stark reality that we are fighting for survival in the remaining 18 games. We can do that and four points from our last two league games is a good start. We already strengthened the squad with Jordan Graham, Mark Sykes and Ahmed Kashi and will do all we can to bring in a striker or two before the transfer window closes.
Whatever happens, we now need everyone to stick together and support the players. Night games bring drama so please be loud and proud and stay positive as the players try to repeat that Portsmouth performance.
You can read the full programme online at www.matchdayfix.com/oufc