ERICK Thohir says reaching the Sky Bet Championship is still very much the ambition of Oxford United’s directors.

The Indonesian businessman, a former president of Inter Milan, was announced as a board member of the U’s in November.

Other long-standing commitments meant he had been unable to watch the team in action until Saturday, when he was in the directors’ box – along with the rest of the board – for the 2-2 draw against Doncaster Rovers.

Thohir was pleased with what he saw, and says all the other stakeholders – Horst Geicke, Zaki Nuseibeh and newly-appointed Anindya Bakrie – will be doing all they can to support chairman Sumrith ‘Tiger’ Thanakarnjanasuth in achieving their ambition of taking the club to the next level.

“Saturday was a good game,” he said. “I wish we had won it, but in football the result is always 50-50.

“But as long as the team is playing well and the fans are happy, then I think that’s good enough.”

As somebody who has been involved at the highest level of the sport, Thohir’s arrival at United has raised eyebrows.

He admitted the chance to be involved with an English team was too good to turn down, and especially one from a city which has such a strong image around the world.

“When you see football in England, it is different to any other country,” he said.

“It is exciting and emotional, but also Oxford has a big brand.

“This is why me and our friends want to support Oxford to become a big team in the future.

“With all the experience I have, it is good to support the management and stakeholders. It is good to build something here in England.”

Thohir, who took part in a board meeting on Saturday, confirmed he would have a financial involvement in the club and would be at more games in the future.

But after a season plagued by off-field concerns, with a number of winding-up petitions and staff not being paid on time, the 48-year-old did appreciate the feelings of supporters must be understood.

It was something probably brought home when a smattering of boos rang out around the Kassam Stadium when the board members took to the pitch for the end-of-season lap of honour.

“Of course (you will see more of me),” he said.

“I am going to support Tiger as are the other board members over here.

“Financially too, with all the other stakeholders.

“But in football I think at the end this is not only business but it is good to build the communities.

“The fans have supported Oxford United for a long time.

“As shareholders it is good to give more respect to the fans by building the team seriously.

“We are very serious and would like to build Oxford United to go to the Championship in the next couple of years.

“I think this is why we had a meeting. We wanted to make sure we would support the team.”

He added: “I think the manager will keep the core of the team and then from that we build.

“I think we are short of only three or four players.

“It was exciting for me. But we need to appreciate the fans so that more and more of them come to the matches.”