For the fourth round of the Carabao Cup, United's chairman Sumrith 'Tiger' Thanakarnjanasuth wrote the following notes in the match programme:
I want to start this week with a thank you to everyone who has come along tonight to support us against Sunderland. I love any football game but one under the lights and with a chance of reaching the quarter finals of a national cup competition is always going to be special and I hope we get the drama and passion that such a night deserves. Sunderland are a massive club and will have the same dreams as us tonight, so let’s make home advantage count.
I have been here for a few days now and enjoyed Saturday’s win over Rochdale very much. Some of the football we played was exceptional and I don’t believe that their red card influenced the final result too much; we were 2-0 up when it happened and already hitting our stride at that stage. Tariqe Fosu scored again, his seventh goal in the last eight games, and I was so pleased to see two local boys score goals; Josh Ruffels and Sam Long are a credit to this club, and you could see by the way every player celebrated with Sam after his goal how much it means to them all.
It got so cold in the second half, but I don’t think that ruined anyone’s day, did it? Karl said something interesting about the season really starting now when the winter bites, the clocks go back and you get rain, wind and who knows what other conditions thrown at you. I think we have a side full of character to cope with all of that and we will work with Karl and the recruitment team to strengthen and support as required.
Off the pitch I am delighted that Zaki Nuseibeh has become Vice Chairman. He is a good man who will be great at linking the team, the staff, the supporters and everything else that little bit closer together. At the same time, we have to say thank you and good luck to another Director, Erick Thohir, who had to step down from the Board because he has been appointed to the Cabinet in Indonesia. Erick will do great things in that role and we congratulate him, but regulations mean that he cannot still be on our Board. We knew that was coming and we were fully prepared. He remains a big supporter of Oxford United and a friend to all of us, so you won’t see too many changes in how the Board support the progress of the club.
Finally, it was good to see a Blue Plaque go up on the Britannia pub in Headington on Sunday: the place where it all started. We talk a lot about the ‘proud history’ of Oxford United and it’s good to see a permanent reminder in place to remind us how the club was started by passionate sports fans who wanted a successful football club right at the heart of their local community. Something we should never forget.
Read the full programme online at www.matchdayfix.com/oufc