Oxford United's new chairman today led fans, staff and sponsors in a rallying cry to get the club's season back on track.

Kelvin Thomas met supporters, colleagues and business partners at the Kassam Stadium to show a united front behind the team — starting with a bumper crowd at tomorrow's home game with Rushden and Diamonds.

Mr Thomas said: "I talked to the staff and they said they would like to show their level of support for the club. I've also talked to fans and told them to get as many people to come to our games as possible.

"We have got to start focusing on every bit of income we can get — and not just the big picture.

"Every £15 through the turnstiles will help, not just finances, but on the pitch as well.

"It will help show the players the support is out there and it will get people talking about Oxford United again.

"This isn't just about the Rushden and Diamonds game, it's about every home game for the rest of the season."

Peter Rhoades-Brown, a former player and United's long-serving Football in the Community officer, said: "What we're doing is really a cry to everybody to help pull together and pull the club in the right direction.

"We've got families and young fans and we need to attract as many people as we can for the rest of the season.

"Darren (Patterson, the manager) and the players know they have got to perform and if we can do our bit by supporting the club, I'm sure they will do theirs on the pitch."

Peter Butterfield, a director at the club's shirt sponsors Buildbase, said: "When our current deal runs out in 2010, we will have been the club's longest successive sponsor, with nine years of continuous support.

"I speak not just from that perspective, but also as a fan who has watched the team for many years.

"We have stood by the club and I hope the supporters keep coming through the turnstiles. What the club needs is loyalty now more than ever, loyalty from the fans.

"We've had a meeting with Kelvin and we're committed to the club and we go beyond our contract to help encourage fans to get behind Oxford United, to benefit both of us."

Nine-year-old Owen Rees, from Chalgrove, who said Lewis Haldane was his favourite player, said: "Everyone should come and watch Oxford."

His mother, Helen Rees, added: "We seem to be saying week after week the team needs us, but everyone should be behind them 100 per cent."