Sumrith 'Tiger' Thanakarnjanasuth writes the following notes in the Boxing Day programme for the visit of AFC Wimbledon
Merry Christmas everyone and thank you to everyone who has gone to the stadium today or to those of you reading this programme at home. Wherever you are, I hope you had a wonderful day yesterday and that we can leave you smiling with a win today against AFC Wimbledon.
It is a time for family and I miss the Oxford United family so much. People kept asking me what I wanted for Christmas and all I said was ‘to go to Oxford and see a game’. I guess there are a lot of you with the same wish and in particular I wanted to say how heartbroken I was when the rules changed and those of you living in Tiers 3 and 4 had to miss out after getting tickets for today. That was cruel and I hope we can see you very soon.
It does show once again how difficult it has been for the team behind the scenes to try and find a solution that suits everyone and allows as many fans as possible to see games. But the goalposts move very quickly! Maybe a word of warning is needed as well. We still face huge challenges and nobody knows what the new year will hold, so can I ask for patience if things change once again. I hope by now you have all seen that we try to make the right decisions and always try to do the right thing for our fans. Football has never seen times like this, but I am proud of this club and the way we have stood strong together to face every new challenge in 2020.
2021 will start with a transfer window and a chance to strengthen the squad. It is not a case of the window opening and the club then looking at our options. Planning began for this window a year ago and there have been long and detailed plans and meetings for a long time. We know the areas we need to reinforce, which positions we want to add competition for, and we know the players we would like to bring in. Again, we have to adapt and change, and this window will be very different for many reasons. We have a successful model here but let me ask you a couple of questions. There are so many games left to play and the schedule is so packed: would you try to only sign robust players who can cope with game after game? There are a lot of excellent players who haven’t had a club so far this season but are still available, unattached: would you talk to them with next season in mind? Those are just two of the hundreds of questions we have to answer as we put the jigsaw together.
Whatever happens, there is a long way to go this season. Christmas, for once, does not mean halfway through the season. It does mean a time to celebrate and I hope you can get together with your loved ones and do that. If you can, give them a hug. It has been a hard year but let’s hope 2021 brings you all good luck, love and happiness.