CHRIS Wilder will stay at Oxford United next season after chairman Ian Lenagan backed the manager at a specially-arranged press conference this morning.

Speculation has been growing for weeks about the 45-year-old’s position as it became clear the U’s would miss out on promotion.

Lenagan made a top seven finish a clear target last summer and said the moment that was beyond the side a “tipping point” would have been reached.

But the chairman has chosen to stand by Wilder, who took over in December 2008.

The manager has been offered and has accepted a new 12-month contract.

Lenagan has just said: "I am fully aware that some supporters, some might say the majority, were expecting a different decision.

"We are convinced that in Chris Wilder, Oxford United as a young manager of high promise.

"It became clear early this season that our injury situation was a mountainous obstacle to over this season (in terms of success)."

Wilder said: "I'm delighted to be reappointed. I'm honoured to be manager.

"I take full responsibility for Oxford United falling short in our points tally this season."