The Oxford United chairman, Sumrith 'Tiger' Thanakarnjanasuth, wrote the following notes which appear in the Carabao Cup programme against West Ham United:
Good evening everyone and what a fantastic game we have to look forward to. There is nothing as dramatic as a big cup game under the lights and we welcome West Ham tonight when they are in great form. I don’t think you could get a better build-up than for one team to have beaten Manchester United at the weekend and the other to have won 6-0 away from home!
That Lincoln game was incredible, and I want to congratulate everyone who went, from Karl and the team right through to the fans who are surely never going to forget that day. I sensed a little bit of disappointment after drawing at Bolton, but I always thought that was a good point against a very different Bolton side to the one who started the season. To travel north again and score six goals was a wonderful achievement and we now have seven points from three league games and are starting to put ourselves into a strong position in the league.
I was very pleased for Tariqe with his hat-trick. I have known Tariqe since he was a young lad at Reading and he is a very unassuming young man who has always had huge talent. I want those three goals to be just the start for him here; not just him either, because we have a young talented side who are learning and improving all the time. Sometimes there will be set-backs, but every time that happens we just stick together, learn and try to move forward again.
Today is a big day for Oxford United on and off the pitch and I don’t think there are too many other teams who can say that one of their midfielders is addressing the General Assembly of the United Nations today! Kash Siddiqi is a remarkable young man who is working so hard to use football as a power for good with his ‘Football For Peace’ campaign. Today he will talk to the UN and then he will head for Real Kashmir on loan, a typically brave move and something we should all feel very proud of. Oxford United has attracted plenty of positive publicity because of this, which is great, but that is not the main reason we are working with Kash. The driving force is that we believe in his message of the power of the Beautiful Game and we want to help him achieve his dream.
I am sure that, like me, Kash will be following the game from afar tonight wishing we could be there. It should be a fantastic occasion and who knows; Oxford United has a great tradition in this competition and a long list of giantkillings against teams from higher divisions. Let’s hope the list becomes one name longer tonight.
You can read the full programme online at www.matchdayfix.com/oufc