Oxford United Chairman Grant Ferguson wrote the following programme notes for the Sky Bet League One game against Charlton Athletic:
First, let me wish you all a belated Merry Christmas. I trust that you spent it with loved ones and had a fantastic few days together.
Many of you will have spent Boxing Day with your fellow Oxford fans at Portman Road or watching the game on iFollow and I hope the result didn’t take the shine of Christmas for you too much. There is no doubt the best team won on the day and left us with a stark reminder of the level we need to be at every game. We pushed them hard for the first 30 minutes but it was always going to be a big ask to come back after conceding two goals in quick succession to clearly one of the best teams in the league.
We have been on a decent run over the last two months and one defeat shouldn’t change the forward direction in which we are travelling. What I hope it does do is make the players even more determined to show that it was a one off, and that we have much greater quality than we showed in the second half of that game.
January will allow us to try and strengthen the squad to ensure we are in a position to compete for a place in the play-offs come the season’s end. Planning towards that end is well progressed and the Board will back Karl and the recruitment team. However, as options at this time of year are often limited, we are also already looking at the next window and beyond.
Understandably, the upcoming transfer window was a hot topic at the recent fans forum but, again understandably, there were just as many questions about the new stadium project. Hopefully the forum gave some assurance that a lot of work is going into delivering on our goals for the club both on and off the pitch.
January is shaping up to be an important month. On 24th January, Oxford County Council will make a decision regarding the land that has been proposed we use for a new stadium. Last week we were able to release a report on the suitability of a site at Stratfield Brake that includes some initial thoughts on how the area might be developed. There has been a level of confidentiality around those while we presented them to the relevant councils and groups, but we also promised to share as much as we could with supporters, and I hope you have had a chance to look through them and see for yourselves what our new home could look like.
I hope that you share the excitement we feel as a Board and as a club going into what could be a pivotal year in the club’s history. I am personally really looking forward to it, and I am confident we can have a start to it that demonstrates the way we mean to go on. It’s a big game today, a chance to get back on track, followed by Exeter’s visit on New Year’s Day and then a sold-out stadium against Arsenal in the FA Cup.
Today is a chance to show that Ipswich was just a bump in the road and we can end 2022 with a performance that we know we are capable of, and put three more points on the board.
You can read the full programme online at www.matchdayfix.com/oufc