Oxford United chairman has open mind on successor and in no rush to appoint

Chris Wilder and Ian Lenagan deep in conversation at an Oxford United match earlier this season

Chris Wilder and Ian Lenagan deep in conversation at an Oxford United match earlier this season

First published in U's News Banbury Cake: Photograph of the Author by , Chief Sports Reporter covering Oxford United. Follow us on twitter: @oxfordmailoufc. Call me on 01865 425458

Oxford United are keeping an open mind about what happens next as they start the search for a new manager this morning.

It is more than five years since the club was in this position and chairman Ian Lenagan will be looking at several options.

The orthodox approach would be to appoint a successor for the rest of this season, plus at least 12 months on top of it.

But as there are only just over three months of the season remaining, an alternative would be to bring in someone on a short-term basis until May.

It would have the flexibility of allowing United to part ways if the new man could not convert a decent position into promotion, but may put off some potential candidates.

The only certainty is the decision will not be made with haste.

Lenagan said: “The answer is when we find the right one we’ll put him in place – there’s no great rush as far as Oxford is concerned.

“I think there are two ways of going forward. One of them is a short-term interim position and the next one is to the end of the season and beyond.

“If we can find the right person quickly to take over for the rest of the season we’ll do that, but I’m not concerned or frightened with the people we’ve got around at the moment, across the whole club we have some excellent coaches.

“I think we’re in a great place with a good squad where we can do well.”

The third route would be to retain the status quo and keep Mickey Lewis in caretaker charge all the way until the end of the season.

It may be an attractive option if United get results in the next couple of weeks.

Lenagan said: “I can foresee a number of different options.

“I was hoping we wouldn’t be in this position, but that’s one of the things we start to discuss now in terms of where we go forward. It might be a caretaker.

“Mickey and Andy Melville are more than capable, (youth team coach) Chris Allen is a good person to have around in terms of coaching abilities.”

Wilder’s contract with United was due to expire at the end of the season and a lack of security was a key reason behind his desire to look else- where.

It was cited at the time of his interview with Portsmouth last month, after which Lenagan told the Oxford Mail talks over an extension would begin in the new year.

They had not begun by last Friday, but the U’s owner claimed they were due shortly.

He said: “I was the one who said eight months ago I think he’s a very capable manager and he can be better.

“But he is obviously very concerned about his family and making sure that they’re taken care of.

“Yet the time is not yet right for me to be offering him a renewed contract.

“It would’ve been within the next couple of months, certainly.

“In fact probably earlier than that, it was a pity the Portsmouth thing came about because the last thing you want to do is be forced into a contract extension.

“We don’t operate like that as a board of directors.”

Comments (8)

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10:30am Mon 27 Jan 14

Grandpont Tom says...

It can see why Mr. Wilder left. He has just signed 3 1/2 years with the Cobblers. Good luck to him. I think it will turn out to be the right move for both clubs as they seem to be suffering a terrible hangover from losing the play-offs, but should have enough to be 22nd and we should get a lift from a new person in charge (what about Hope Powell as an outside bet?).

I see he has brought in Alan Knill as his number 2 - that would have been a good combiantion here, wouldn't it?
It can see why Mr. Wilder left. He has just signed 3 1/2 years with the Cobblers. Good luck to him. I think it will turn out to be the right move for both clubs as they seem to be suffering a terrible hangover from losing the play-offs, but should have enough to be 22nd and we should get a lift from a new person in charge (what about Hope Powell as an outside bet?). I see he has brought in Alan Knill as his number 2 - that would have been a good combiantion here, wouldn't it? Grandpont Tom
  • Score: 1

11:05am Mon 27 Jan 14

oldun says...

TOUGH NEGOTIATOR - good - below is from NT website - quote from their Chairman Cadroza


“I would like to say a big thank you to Oxford Chairman Ian Lenagan who has been an absolute gentleman through this whole process. These situations have the potential to become quite unpleasant but he has been very professional.


"He has been a tough negotiator but we finally reached a compensation figure that we were both comfortable with and I wish him and Oxford United the very best of luck in their promotion push."

Now get the right man, IL
.
TOUGH NEGOTIATOR - good - below is from NT website - quote from their Chairman Cadroza “I would like to say a big thank you to Oxford Chairman Ian Lenagan who has been an absolute gentleman through this whole process. These situations have the potential to become quite unpleasant but he has been very professional. "He has been a tough negotiator but we finally reached a compensation figure that we were both comfortable with and I wish him and Oxford United the very best of luck in their promotion push." Now get the right man, IL . oldun
  • Score: 10

11:06am Mon 27 Jan 14

train passenger says...

IL is fair I think but likes to play hardball (remember the Kelvin Thomas saga before). Sometimes that works, sometimes it doesn't. In the long term he needs to be careful not to alienate too many people in and around the club with that kind of approach.
IL is fair I think but likes to play hardball (remember the Kelvin Thomas saga before). Sometimes that works, sometimes it doesn't. In the long term he needs to be careful not to alienate too many people in and around the club with that kind of approach. train passenger
  • Score: 3

12:46pm Mon 27 Jan 14

johnnylyle says...

It's easy to see both sides of the argument and I fully understand why Wilder wanted security for his family. It's certainly very strange that Wilder has never been taken into the hearts of the United fans and despite him having dragged us out if the Conference (just) he still won't be missed by many. There are some great managers out there and I hope IL chooses wisely (He will) and it gives us the push we need to get into League One.
It's easy to see both sides of the argument and I fully understand why Wilder wanted security for his family. It's certainly very strange that Wilder has never been taken into the hearts of the United fans and despite him having dragged us out if the Conference (just) he still won't be missed by many. There are some great managers out there and I hope IL chooses wisely (He will) and it gives us the push we need to get into League One. johnnylyle
  • Score: 7

2:12pm Mon 27 Jan 14

Richard Wickson says...

I agree with most of the above. Ian Lenagan pays the bills so wants things his way but does need to allow his appointed Manager an element of decision making. Look at the mess that Cardiff got into recently over the Chairman, Vincent Tan,wanting it all his own way. There does have to be some give and take and I think to a point there had been with Chris, it has emerged that money was available last week for new blood. It seems the big sticking point with him was the one year contract, although he signed it so therefore accepted it, end of in my book. Had he got us promoted I am sure he would have got 3 years so therefore, hopefully it will work out well for both, we get a forward thinking manager who gets us up and he saves Northampton from the drop, not at our expense tho. It does worry me that IL says there's no rush to replace him tho I am sure Mad Dog knows we need to keep the away form up tomorrow, we still remember Exeter delaying our escape from the Conference a few years ago, a win tomorrow is imperative!
I agree with most of the above. Ian Lenagan pays the bills so wants things his way but does need to allow his appointed Manager an element of decision making. Look at the mess that Cardiff got into recently over the Chairman, Vincent Tan,wanting it all his own way. There does have to be some give and take and I think to a point there had been with Chris, it has emerged that money was available last week for new blood. It seems the big sticking point with him was the one year contract, although he signed it so therefore accepted it, end of in my book. Had he got us promoted I am sure he would have got 3 years so therefore, hopefully it will work out well for both, we get a forward thinking manager who gets us up and he saves Northampton from the drop, not at our expense tho. It does worry me that IL says there's no rush to replace him tho I am sure Mad Dog knows we need to keep the away form up tomorrow, we still remember Exeter delaying our escape from the Conference a few years ago, a win tomorrow is imperative! Richard Wickson
  • Score: 1

4:21pm Mon 27 Jan 14

OX4-OUFC says...

So any more new managerial suggestions from the 'Wilder out" moaners on here ? Not rating the suggestions so far. Here's some stats...
Sean O' Driscoll ....win percentage, 35.54%
Martin Ling..win percentage, 37.93%
Paul Tisdale....win percentage, 37.60%
Martin Allen (Big Al Biker choice apart from himself !) win percentage, 40.69%
CHRIS WILDER , win percentage, 44.67% !!!!
Perhaps a manager with a better win percentage than Wilder could be a good place to start and could help turn the dismal home record around ?
Tricky as most of those managers are in employment !
Justin Edinburgh another name mentioned with Newport County and a 35 million Newport supporter lottery winner behind him is only managing a 45.53 win % which again would be much lower if his results and sackings with Grays and Rushden + Diamonds (who sadly went into liquidation season after we beat them in the play offs to then win at Wembley) were figured in.
Interestingly Russ Wilcox current manager of table topping Scunthorpe was the assistant manager but they do have serious resources behind them which makes the job a little easier.
So any more new managerial suggestions from the 'Wilder out" moaners on here ? Not rating the suggestions so far. Here's some stats... Sean O' Driscoll ....win percentage, 35.54% Martin Ling..win percentage, 37.93% Paul Tisdale....win percentage, 37.60% Martin Allen (Big Al Biker choice apart from himself !) win percentage, 40.69% CHRIS WILDER , win percentage, 44.67% !!!! Perhaps a manager with a better win percentage than Wilder could be a good place to start and could help turn the dismal home record around ? Tricky as most of those managers are in employment ! Justin Edinburgh another name mentioned with Newport County and a 35 million Newport supporter lottery winner behind him is only managing a 45.53 win % which again would be much lower if his results and sackings with Grays and Rushden + Diamonds (who sadly went into liquidation season after we beat them in the play offs to then win at Wembley) were figured in. Interestingly Russ Wilcox current manager of table topping Scunthorpe was the assistant manager but they do have serious resources behind them which makes the job a little easier. OX4-OUFC
  • Score: 1

4:35pm Mon 27 Jan 14

oldun says...

Obviously, there are less good managers than Chris but I am sure that IL will pay 'lip service' to stats like that .

Chris stats ruined by promotion - had we stayed in the Conference throughout Chris' long tenure then his stats would have been better - stuffing the likes of Braintree etc

I bet Chris would want to take a club up as the next year against tougher oppo, the win percentage would almost certainly fall

Many factors affect the win percentage not just managerial ability
Obviously, there are less good managers than Chris but I am sure that IL will pay 'lip service' to stats like that . Chris stats ruined by promotion - had we stayed in the Conference throughout Chris' long tenure then his stats would have been better - stuffing the likes of Braintree etc I bet Chris would want to take a club up as the next year against tougher oppo, the win percentage would almost certainly fall Many factors affect the win percentage not just managerial ability oldun
  • Score: 3

7:31pm Mon 27 Jan 14

OX4-OUFC says...

oldun wrote:
Obviously, there are less good managers than Chris but I am sure that IL will pay 'lip service' to stats like that .

Chris stats ruined by promotion - had we stayed in the Conference throughout Chris' long tenure then his stats would have been better - stuffing the likes of Braintree etc

I bet Chris would want to take a club up as the next year against tougher oppo, the win percentage would almost certainly fall

Many factors affect the win percentage not just managerial ability
Obviously, If all of the above mentioned managers managed in the conference then all of their stats would possibly be better but they're all league managers and we're a league team now and these are the names being connected with the vacant job and none of them leap off the page for me."Many factors affect the win percentage not just managerial ability" Exactly, especially resources for players and support. Exactly what so many of the "Wilder Out" brigade on here seem to have overlooked. All history now. Whatever winning = promotion and tomorrow night we'll learn more. Here's hoping for 3 points.
[quote][p][bold]oldun[/bold] wrote: Obviously, there are less good managers than Chris but I am sure that IL will pay 'lip service' to stats like that . Chris stats ruined by promotion - had we stayed in the Conference throughout Chris' long tenure then his stats would have been better - stuffing the likes of Braintree etc I bet Chris would want to take a club up as the next year against tougher oppo, the win percentage would almost certainly fall Many factors affect the win percentage not just managerial ability[/p][/quote]Obviously, If all of the above mentioned managers managed in the conference then all of their stats would possibly be better but they're all league managers and we're a league team now and these are the names being connected with the vacant job and none of them leap off the page for me."Many factors affect the win percentage not just managerial ability" Exactly, especially resources for players and support. Exactly what so many of the "Wilder Out" brigade on here seem to have overlooked. All history now. Whatever winning = promotion and tomorrow night we'll learn more. Here's hoping for 3 points. OX4-OUFC
  • Score: 1

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