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MARK'S PROGRAMME NOTES | ROTHERHAM UNITED

23 November 2021

The thoughts of Town's CEO ahead of tonight's game

Good evening and welcome to Portman Road for tonight’s League One fixture against Rotherham United. As ever, I’m delighted to welcome the directors, staff, players and supporters from the AESSEAL New York Stadium to what will no doubt be an entertaining encounter under the lights.

The busy schedule has continued with three games taking place since my last set of programme notes. The first of those, our last home match, saw us draw 0-0 against Oxford 10 days ago. While it was disappointing to not get the three points, which I think we deserved, it was another good performance against one of the strongest sides in this division. Ed Schwartz was in attendance, having also been at the Colchester Papa John’s Trophy game on the previous Tuesday night, and couldn’t stop smiling at the whole matchday experience, largely due to the amazing atmosphere that you generated once again.

We then made the first of two long trips north for our FA Cup replay against Oldham. I thought the lads who played showed great character having to come back and win 2-1, having gone behind on the night. As I said ahead of the initial tie at Portman Road, there is no such thing as an easy game - and this is never more true than in the FA Cup. I’d also like to give credit to Oldham, who I thought were fantastic in both of our games against them. In the end, a moment of magic from Idris El Mizouni has won the tie. It goes without saying that I’m delighted to be in the second round.

Our second lengthy journey of the week saw us face Sunderland on Saturday in a game that we dominated, but unfortunately we got nothing from it. That was a tough one to take but you don’t always get what you deserve in football. Over 2,000 fans made the trip to the Stadium of Light on Saturday and, for large parts of the afternoon, outsung the sizeable home crowd. I cannot thank you enough for your continued outstanding support, both home and away.

On that note, I was delighted to see that we have now surpassed 25,000 tickets bought for the return game against Sunderland on Saturday, 18 December. That is absolutely outstanding. It’s also great to see that the other two #PackOutPR games, against Wycombe and Lincoln, are selling well, with over a month to go.

Your support has been phenomenal, and we will need you tonight. Rotherham are second in the League One table and will provide a massive test this evening but together, we can do this. Get behind the boys and let’s start this run of four successive home matches with three points.

Enjoy the game,

Mark Ashton


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