United's Chairman, Tiger, wrote the following programme notes for the visit of Chelsea's under-21 side in the EFL Trophy:
Good evening everyone and I hope everyone is safe and well and ready to watch us take on the latest talented batch of youngsters at Chelsea. As a club Chelsea have given so many young players a chance in the last year or two and we know we will be playing against some very, very exciting players tonight.
I think we will improve game by game and Saturday’s game was all about getting a start and through to the next round of the Carabao Cup. I watched on iFollow, like all of you, and we started very strongly but then found it hard to break down a very disciplined Wimbledon side, who probably had the best chances in the game. Simon Eastwood kept us in it with an excellent penalty save and then did the same in the shoot out to make sure we got through. Our penalties were very good but hopefully we can get a win in 90 minutes tonight and not need to take them to try and gain the extra point in this competition.
I always talk about the team on the pitch, but I want to take time to thank the team behind the scenes as well because Saturday was the first time this season that we have played a game under the latest Covid regulations. It takes a lot of time and organisation to get things right when there are fans at the game but trust me, it takes probably more time to get it right when there are so many rules and regulations to stick to.
Everyone worked so hard and made sure that it was a safe environment for the players, and I want to thank those who made that possible.
Will we see fans back at the ground soon? That is all that people ask me and I wish I knew the answer. I think the iFollow coverage is good, but it can never ever be as good as being at the game in person. I miss the noise and the colour and the passion from the fans and my one wish is to be able to join you all at a match again. Tonight there is a game in Cambridge where they are allowing a limited number of fans back inside. That may not sound much but it is a small step in the right direction.
As a club we have a lot of very experienced people working with the right authorities and advisers at all levels of the game to try and make a return possible to the Kassam Stadium. It is not a quick fix and as you all know the situation changes every week around the country, around the world even. All I can do is promise you that we will welcome you back as quickly as we can do, and in the meantime, we thank you for your patience and your support from home.
Sumrith 'Tiger' Thankarnjanasuth
You can read the rest of the programme online at www.matchdayfix.com/oufc