Oxford United chairman: "We have to make the right decision rather than a quick decision"

Witney Gazette: Ian Lenagan Ian Lenagan

Oxford United chairman Ian Lenagan tonight told the Oxford Mail that he will take his time over appointing the next manager - and has urged fans to stay patient.

The U's chief says that around 50 applications to replace Chris Wilder have already been received, and that he is extremely pleased with the quality of those applicants.

Mickey Lewis will stay in charge of the team on a caretaker basis, and will lead the team for "the next few weeks" as the process to find a successor continues.

Lenagan added that he was expecting there to be a bit of doom and gloom around the United training ground on Monday morning, but could not believe the 'buzz'.

United's chairman said: "We are not in a rush.

"We have to make the right decision rather than a quick decision.

"When Chris Wilder came in, there was a need for haste. But we got that decision right. This time it is extremely important we take our time and find the right man that can lead us forward and take us to the next level.

"We have had dozens and dozens and dozens of applicants, around 50 if I had to put a figure on it, and we have not advertised the job."

Lenagan admitted that a 'sporting director' role is a possibility, but at this stage did not want to rule anything in or out.

He added: "Of the applications I have received, around a third are for that role, and at this stage it's important to keep all options open.

"I was at the training ground on Monday and the buzz around the place was there for all to see.

"I was fearful there might be doom and gloom, but the mood up there - that was noticed by everyone - was for all to see.

"And then the performance on Tuesday, when you could see that the players were all right behind Mickey Lewis and doing their all to maintain this away run at Exeter was so very positive.

"There was a split between the pros and antis with Chris which made it difficult for him, but what I would now urge is the fans who were maybe staying away, come back and get right behind Oxford United as we look to maintain that gap between the chasing pack and hopefully not only cement a play-off place, but push for that top three as well."

Comments (9)

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6:12pm Fri 31 Jan 14

BigAlBiker says...

Get it right, that's all I ask, a mixture of experience and youth, difficult decision but what I don't want is some washed up geezer or a spotty youth with no ideas.
Get it right, that's all I ask, a mixture of experience and youth, difficult decision but what I don't want is some washed up geezer or a spotty youth with no ideas. BigAlBiker

6:40pm Fri 31 Jan 14

South Upper 87 says...

Listened to the interview, the bloke is totally realistic. Will take his time, might hasten it if we start losing. Although he was very diplomatic about Wilder, quite clear that the former manager had an issue with some players...The reference of it was 'nice to see Smalley smiling at Exeter' said it all. Interesting also to hear that we had sold over 1000 more tickets for tomorrow as against last week !!

Good interview, spoilt by some absolute plonker who came on to tell Lenagan to stand down as there are 'loads of people ready to take over the club and invest even more money' IDIOT, you can't tell me he was a OUFC fan.
Listened to the interview, the bloke is totally realistic. Will take his time, might hasten it if we start losing. Although he was very diplomatic about Wilder, quite clear that the former manager had an issue with some players...The reference of it was 'nice to see Smalley smiling at Exeter' said it all. Interesting also to hear that we had sold over 1000 more tickets for tomorrow as against last week !! Good interview, spoilt by some absolute plonker who came on to tell Lenagan to stand down as there are 'loads of people ready to take over the club and invest even more money' IDIOT, you can't tell me he was a OUFC fan. South Upper 87

6:54pm Fri 31 Jan 14

Richard Wickson says...

NO NO NO NO, definitely not a Sporting Director, it's very European and not our way. We can't afford a new coach and an SD so need to go for a decent manager with an eye for goal. The fact some are applying as sporting directors says to me, that they aren't young energetic guys with recent knowledge of life on the pitch and also sufficient management experience to run things themselves but older guys with little management experience who think they know what's required. It doesn't work, you need to guy who's Managing to be the main coach as well, we aren't a big premier league outfit who are flying hither and thither round Europe who needs a guy to plan trips and look at possible big money signings, we are a decent Football League club who needs money to buy their own stadium and have a go ahead forward thinking (as in attacking/strikers) manager, whether he's young or old , he just needs the ability to choose the right players and bring out the natural instincts and football ability in them, we don't need complications.
NO NO NO NO, definitely not a Sporting Director, it's very European and not our way. We can't afford a new coach and an SD so need to go for a decent manager with an eye for goal. The fact some are applying as sporting directors says to me, that they aren't young energetic guys with recent knowledge of life on the pitch and also sufficient management experience to run things themselves but older guys with little management experience who think they know what's required. It doesn't work, you need to guy who's Managing to be the main coach as well, we aren't a big premier league outfit who are flying hither and thither round Europe who needs a guy to plan trips and look at possible big money signings, we are a decent Football League club who needs money to buy their own stadium and have a go ahead forward thinking (as in attacking/strikers) manager, whether he's young or old , he just needs the ability to choose the right players and bring out the natural instincts and football ability in them, we don't need complications. Richard Wickson

6:54pm Fri 31 Jan 14

Roy Burton's shorts says...

I didn't hear the interview but I was disappointed to hear IL say earlier that he might consider an interim manager. With this amount of interest and enough time we must find a good permanent manager. Even an interim man will want to change things, but it’s in the nature of change that it never pleases everyone. Change from an interim manager could be seen as temporary and will be easier to resist by those who might dissent. Players can form unhelpful cliques in situations like this. We need a managerial appointment that maintains our united dressing room, with the whole squad right behind a new man with new ideas. And we also need a longer term appt to improve our negotiating position on contracts due for renewal in the months ahead. Players need to know who they’ll be playing for in the season ahead. Beyond Ryan, there are still a couple of key players we’d probably want to keep, even for L1.
I didn't hear the interview but I was disappointed to hear IL say earlier that he might consider an interim manager. With this amount of interest and enough time we must find a good permanent manager. Even an interim man will want to change things, but it’s in the nature of change that it never pleases everyone. Change from an interim manager could be seen as temporary and will be easier to resist by those who might dissent. Players can form unhelpful cliques in situations like this. We need a managerial appointment that maintains our united dressing room, with the whole squad right behind a new man with new ideas. And we also need a longer term appt to improve our negotiating position on contracts due for renewal in the months ahead. Players need to know who they’ll be playing for in the season ahead. Beyond Ryan, there are still a couple of key players we’d probably want to keep, even for L1. Roy Burton's shorts

7:02pm Fri 31 Jan 14

Roy Burton's shorts says...

Richard Wickson wrote:
NO NO NO NO, definitely not a Sporting Director, it's very European and not our way. We can't afford a new coach and an SD so need to go for a decent manager with an eye for goal. The fact some are applying as sporting directors says to me, that they aren't young energetic guys with recent knowledge of life on the pitch and also sufficient management experience to run things themselves but older guys with little management experience who think they know what's required. It doesn't work, you need to guy who's Managing to be the main coach as well, we aren't a big premier league outfit who are flying hither and thither round Europe who needs a guy to plan trips and look at possible big money signings, we are a decent Football League club who needs money to buy their own stadium and have a go ahead forward thinking (as in attacking/strikers) manager, whether he's young or old , he just needs the ability to choose the right players and bring out the natural instincts and football ability in them, we don't need complications.
I agree absolutely. Nice to acknowledge how experienced big names might be interested in a SD role, so IL might have mentioned it simply for the PR spin. Let’s hope so.
[quote][p][bold]Richard Wickson[/bold] wrote: NO NO NO NO, definitely not a Sporting Director, it's very European and not our way. We can't afford a new coach and an SD so need to go for a decent manager with an eye for goal. The fact some are applying as sporting directors says to me, that they aren't young energetic guys with recent knowledge of life on the pitch and also sufficient management experience to run things themselves but older guys with little management experience who think they know what's required. It doesn't work, you need to guy who's Managing to be the main coach as well, we aren't a big premier league outfit who are flying hither and thither round Europe who needs a guy to plan trips and look at possible big money signings, we are a decent Football League club who needs money to buy their own stadium and have a go ahead forward thinking (as in attacking/strikers) manager, whether he's young or old , he just needs the ability to choose the right players and bring out the natural instincts and football ability in them, we don't need complications.[/p][/quote]I agree absolutely. Nice to acknowledge how experienced big names might be interested in a SD role, so IL might have mentioned it simply for the PR spin. Let’s hope so. Roy Burton's shorts

7:20pm Fri 31 Jan 14

dave from witney says...

I heard the broadcast, to me he said everything right. We all knew he is not the type to be hurried, I thought the reference to an interim manager, was if we start losing too many games. He made clear what he was looking for. someone who can unite the players and the fans and someone who can build up the academy and work with the Science. I too heard the first caller, had to be someone who clearly was on day release from some institution, or a Swindon fan.
I heard the broadcast, to me he said everything right. We all knew he is not the type to be hurried, I thought the reference to an interim manager, was if we start losing too many games. He made clear what he was looking for. someone who can unite the players and the fans and someone who can build up the academy and work with the Science. I too heard the first caller, had to be someone who clearly was on day release from some institution, or a Swindon fan. dave from witney

9:25pm Fri 31 Jan 14

wayoutwest says...

Just wondering if Brian McDermott would consider a drop down the league now he's been given the boot at Leeds for what looks like an internal political wrangle? With his past Oxford connections and perhaps a property still in the M4 corridor area? Worth a phone call IL??
Just wondering if Brian McDermott would consider a drop down the league now he's been given the boot at Leeds for what looks like an internal political wrangle? With his past Oxford connections and perhaps a property still in the M4 corridor area? Worth a phone call IL?? wayoutwest

9:50pm Fri 31 Jan 14

Richard Wickson says...

dave from witney wrote:
I heard the broadcast, to me he said everything right. We all knew he is not the type to be hurried, I thought the reference to an interim manager, was if we start losing too many games. He made clear what he was looking for. someone who can unite the players and the fans and someone who can build up the academy and work with the Science. I too heard the first caller, had to be someone who clearly was on day release from some institution, or a Swindon fan.
Sadly I haven't heard the broadcast tho agree with what I have read.its good that he wants to develop the academy further and he wants someone who can unite the players and fans, after all he knows the gates will increase if he keeps us all happy. The bit that concerns me is he will act quicker on a manager if results drop off, surely pro-active is better than reactive. I did in the main like his style tho, I do believe the club is in good hands though wonder if we will ever own our ground again no matter who is Chairman or Manager.
[quote][p][bold]dave from witney[/bold] wrote: I heard the broadcast, to me he said everything right. We all knew he is not the type to be hurried, I thought the reference to an interim manager, was if we start losing too many games. He made clear what he was looking for. someone who can unite the players and the fans and someone who can build up the academy and work with the Science. I too heard the first caller, had to be someone who clearly was on day release from some institution, or a Swindon fan.[/p][/quote]Sadly I haven't heard the broadcast tho agree with what I have read.its good that he wants to develop the academy further and he wants someone who can unite the players and fans, after all he knows the gates will increase if he keeps us all happy. The bit that concerns me is he will act quicker on a manager if results drop off, surely pro-active is better than reactive. I did in the main like his style tho, I do believe the club is in good hands though wonder if we will ever own our ground again no matter who is Chairman or Manager. Richard Wickson

8:38am Sat 1 Feb 14

hairydean says...

Wow I can safely say all the comment ive just read are all positive intelligent comment built around supporting the team thank you . As for iL total respect on what he said he sound like he loves the club and wants what we all want as for comments that cw had issues with some players i got that impression ages ago . I know a former director of Halifax town great friend of cw and he said cw cant hassle pressure and panics making wrong decisions we all know that was evident im sure he didnt play our strikers the way he should have to get the best from them i believe the right man will make JC DK etc from10-15 goal a season to 20-30 goals a season by playing them out and out strikers traditional midson and green perfect examples up the yellows
Wow I can safely say all the comment ive just read are all positive intelligent comment built around supporting the team thank you . As for iL total respect on what he said he sound like he loves the club and wants what we all want as for comments that cw had issues with some players i got that impression ages ago . I know a former director of Halifax town great friend of cw and he said cw cant hassle pressure and panics making wrong decisions we all know that was evident im sure he didnt play our strikers the way he should have to get the best from them i believe the right man will make JC DK etc from10-15 goal a season to 20-30 goals a season by playing them out and out strikers traditional midson and green perfect examples up the yellows hairydean

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