BELIEF in Oxford United’s push for promotion is mounting across the world ahead of Saturday’s crucial match.
The U’s take on Southend in the final scheduled home game of the season knowing that a win is desperately needed in the pursuit of a play-off place.
Urged on by club chairman Kelvin Thomas, fans have been displaying posters and taking to social networking site Twitter to spread the #OUFCBelieve message.
United sit two points adrift of Crewe and three points behind Cheltenham in the last two play-off spaces, but technically three clubs below Oxford could still overtake them.
Tickets have been selling fast and a crowd in excess of 9,000 is expected.
The club has had dozens of responses from businesses and individuals showing off the ‘believe’ poster.
Fan James Baskerville displayed one of the posters at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) as 86,932 fans watched the crunch Aussie Rules game between Collingwood and Essendon this week.
He said: “Just did my bit to spread the word and left a few of the ‘#oufcbelieve’ posters around the MCG in Melbourne during the build up to the biggest Aussie Rules football game of the season.
“I would love to come back for the game on Saturday but will happily wait a few more weeks – see you at Wembley!”
Fellow believer George Dugdale, from Horspath, was at last night’s Champions League semi-final between Real Madrid and Bayern Munich with fellow U’s fan Jamie French but still had his mind firmly on Saturday’s game at the Kassam Stadium.
He said: “It’s been great to speak with foreign fans and see how the other half live, but even at a game of this magnitude it’s been difficult to overlook the importance of three points on Saturday.”
The Rev Peter Clark, a season-ticket holder who travels from his home in Gravesend in Kent, said: “Believers in God believe in Oxford United too!
“After the Swindon game I thought ‘we are on a run, we can do this’.
“That game showed that we have the big-match mentality and we can do it. I think if everyone pulls together then we’ve got what it takes.”
Serviceman Andy Wilmer sent in photo- graphs from Helmand Province in Afghanistan. He said: “I’m praying we can secure that play-off place.”
Mark Sennett, of supporters’ trust Ox Vox, said: “Saturday is a vital game. Obviously we need to win, in front of what will be a big crowd, to stand a chance to get that one step closer to a first-ever appearance in a Football League play-off.
“We all know how exciting the play-offs can be and it’s a massive chance for us to get in that league above.
“Crewe have got a tough game at Torquay and we need to crowd to get behind the boys.”
Club spokesman Chris Williams said: "The #oufcbelieve idea has really taken off and the fans have been brilliant.
“We have had support from all around the world, and the players know that everyone is behind them for Saturday.
“There should be another big crowd and it will be another terrific occasion.”