I look forward to seeing you all today for what could be another key game for us this season. Sunderland have hit form and are doing very well right now, but as we have seen twice already this season, these are very close sides and it should be an exciting game with a really good atmosphere.
There is still a third of the season to go, so there will be a lot of ups and downs for every team. Since the turn of the year, our league position has just slipped a little, although that happened when we were playing two massive games against Newcastle in the FA Cup. There is still plenty of time to regain that lost ground. I like the way that Karl has broken the rest of the season down into small blocks with clear targets from each one. You can waste a lot of energy looking too far ahead, so we have simplified things and every player knows what we have to do if we are to achieve our dream of promotion.
That is still attainable. Last season we were in a poor position right now; do you remember a game at Walsall where we were still haunted by relegation? The team went on an amazing run from about now onwards, and I truly believe that this is a stronger group than 12 months ago. Win today and we would be within reach of the play-offs with a game in hand, so we all need to stay positive and start one last push together.
Off the field we continue to build and improve, and we have a new Head of Marketing starting with us plus a new, clearer, reporting structure which I think will help our amazing staff a lot. There have been meetings about recruitment, pre-season, about next year’s kit and season-ticket prices. Just like last year, those meetings always discuss ‘what if we are in a different division’. I can tell you I like the 2020 discussions a lot more than those from a year ago…
Enjoy the game.
You can read the full programme online at www.matchdayfix.com/oufc