The Oxford United chairman, Sumrith 'Tiger' Thanakarnjanasuth, wrote the following notes for the Sky Bet League One programme against Portsmouth:
Good evening everyone and I hope you enjoy watching tonight’s game against a very strong Portsmouth side. Of course, everyone will be thinking back to the last time we met here in the play-off semi-final last year and will talk about the final outcome, but I also remember seeing two very well-matched teams with not much between them. I expect another very close game tonight.
I watched the last few games on iFollow, and I thought on Saturday at Ipswich we played better in the second half of the game. It is slightly strange watching at home; you don’t see the whole picture of the match, but from my screen it looked like we had a lot of the ball and on another day we may well have won.
Instead we take a point and move on and since losing at Doncaster we have won two and drawn one of our league games. That is the positive reaction you need and if we can keep taking seven points out of nine then we will not be too far away from our goal at the end of the season.
The one disappointment came in the Papa John’s Trophy, where we were beaten at the semi-final stage by Tranmere. I would never take anything for granted but I will confess that I had been wondering how I might be able to get to the UK if we got through to Wembley. You have to dream, but football has a habit of laughing at you if you get carried away like that!
I spoke to Karl and the players and they were all so disappointed to lose that game. I thought we played well again, and we created so many chances but maybe we weren’t quite at our best and sometimes you have to give credit to the other side. Tranmere had a little bit of luck, but they also played very well, and I certainly wish them well for the final.
Off the field, this is the first chance I have had to thank everyone behind the scenes for the way they followed the procedures when the stadium needed to be evacuated against Wigan. I am always amazed at the twists and turns of this season; some other event always seems to happen alongside the actual game. I know that Niall and the safety team will look at how things happened and ensure that the safety of everyone in the ground is the priority; we have an added responsibility right now, with the stadium being used as a vaccination centre at the moment.
Finally, I am putting these notes together on Sunday morning with the government making an announcement on Monday about lockdown. Due to the timing, I cannot really comment on the impact it may have on football, but all I can promise is that we have not been idle. We have plans ready for all of the possibilities and whatever happens, whenever it can happen, once it is safe, we will be ready to welcome fans back as quickly as we can.
Meanwhile, enjoy the game wherever you are.
You can read the full programme online at www.matchdayfix.com/oufc