Good afternoon and welcome to all our fans for today’s game against Swindon Town...
I would also like to welcome the management and staff of our opponents today, along with the visiting directors and fans.
Our defeat at Cambridge surprised me. I watched the game live from the US and although I wasn’t too thrilled with our first-half performance. I thought we did more than enough to win the game in the second half, but if you don’t score when on top you are always susceptible to a sucker punch.
Darren said afterwards that he felt he had been robbed and the stats support that view. However, clinical finishing and taking half chances comes from a supreme confidence in the outcome and I would like to see our lads a lot more confident in their approach to these games.
We have a squad full of talented players, a great mixture of youth and experience and we all want to get back to our early season form and make a run for the play offs at the very earliest opportunity.
Turning to today, well, it is FA Cup time again and we will be giving everything we have got to reach the next round.
Cup competitions provide a chance for players and management to forget the league – these games are completely different and must be played in a completely different way.
Generally, the further we go the more difficult the tie of course, but that just makes this competition so great. To compete for the right to play a top club is what these games are all about. So let’s all get behind the lads today!
Events off the pitch have been interesting, to say the least. With just over £1m of funds ring-fenced in the bank to build the North Stand, the tender process has taken longer than I would have liked – made a little longer by the quotes not being where I want them to be!
We are now in the value engineering phase – which is a neat way of saying we need to make the building fit the funds we have.
I am confident this will be concluded this month and we will be ready to start securing the site for demolition towards the end of the month or early in January.
The project has a 26-week delivery time, so we will still be on course for opening at the start of the 2018/19 season, subject to some minor agreements with the council on our lease.
I have been looking forward to this game ever since the draw. Your support has been great so far, so let’s help get the lads over the line and into the 3rd Round hat!
Enjoy the game.
Read Chairman Phil Wallace's notes in tonight's matchday programme, available for just £3 from around the ground and inside the club shop.