The Oxford United Chairman, Sumrith 'Tiger' Thanakarnjanasuth, wrote the following notes for the programme for the Sky Bet League One game against Burton Albion:
Good afternoon everyone and wherever you are watching it I hope you enjoy what should be a very exciting game against Burton Albion. We all know what is at stake for us, but based on recent form Burton have been one of the best teams in the league, so everything is set up for a thrilling last 90 minutes.
I have confidence that we can do it. I have never lost my confidence even when things have gone against us. We started the season poorly, but it did not change my view that we had a squad who would compete for the play-offs. There have been one or two tough results since then, but those have been far outweighed by the positives and the fantastic wins.
The latest of those came at Shrewsbury last Saturday. What a wonderful game of football. We went in front early, then we were losing and then we threw everything we had at Shrewsbury. By the way, we woke up our neighbours twice with the second and third goals. Like all of the supporters I was sitting in my home willing the team on but feeling so helpless. It is so much easier to be in the stadium and shouting and cheering; you feel like you are directly influencing what happens. I’m not sure if it helps quite so much when you are shouting at a TV screen on a different continent!
I thought the performance showed what is so good about this group of players. Nobody panics, they all just work hard, keep together and believe in each other. Now they have to give it all for just 90 minutes, then, I hope, three more matches.
Whatever happens, I think we can all be proud of what we have achieved this season. A top-six finish was always the aim, we have seen players develop: Rob Atkinson, Elliot Moore, Sam Long, Mark Sykes, and we have risen to every challenge; I want to mention Cameron Brannagan and the way he has come back so strongly after his illness, or Jack Stevens taking his chance and showing the young players coming through the Academy that there is a clear pathway to playing in the first team.
Karl and his staff have been amazing, not just with the squad they built and the way they play but in the way they have faced the Covid crisis and so many new challenges. Everyone wears that Oxford United badge with huge pride, and I want to thank them all for their hard work, friendship and integrity.
The only sad thing has been that fans cannot share the experience, but I believe we are close to seeing you all again. I will be there with you; I cannot believe it is 14 months since I visited Oxford and was part of the Oxford United family. We will give you information on season tickets and so many new ideas we have for next season, maybe even having fans back this season…
But for now, let’s just concentrate on one thing: a win today and see how far that can take us. I am hoping and looking forward to meeting everyone again on Sunday 30th May, everyone knows what I mean.
You can read the full programme online at www.matchdayfix.com/oufc