OXFORD United’s owner has rejected the suggestion the sales of Shandon Baptiste and Tariqe Fosu on transfer deadline day lacked ambition.

The pair joined Brentford for undisclosed fees, while the U’s attempts to sign a replacement for Chris Cadden and an extra striker fell flat in the final hours of the window.

But Sumrith ‘Tiger’ Thanakarnjanasuth has responded to the criticism by claiming United bid £500,000 to Columbus Crew to turn Cadden’s loan move into a permanent, while also making an offer which would have raised the club’s wage structure.

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United’s form, which was already stuttering, has been patchy since they left to leave Karl Robinson’s side eight points adrift of the play-off places in Sky Bet League One.

It has prompted many supporters to question the board’s strategy.

But in his programme notes for tonight’s game against AFC Wimbledon, Tiger responded.

He wrote: “Did it show a lack of ambition? No.

“We had already brought in Marcus Browne, Nathan Holland, George Thorne and Liam Kelly, plus Rob Atkinson for the future, and knew that James Henry, Cameron Brannagan, Anthony Forde and Ben Woodburn would be back very soon.

“We always knew it was likely that Chris Cadden would move to America, but we bid half a million pounds to keep him: that is a lot of money for a full back.

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“We also made a bid that would have made a player the highest paid in the club’s history, fully aware that it would then raise wages for other players in the future.

“Neither bid was successful, but I would not say that is a lack of ambition.

“Money from the player sales will strengthen the team and the whole club and to answer the other question that people asked me on Saturday: no, the season is not over.

“Three of our next four games are at home where we have been very strong.

“We have players hitting form, others to come back, and there is still a very long way to go.”