AFTER marking a month in the job, it feels an appropriate time to assess Liam Manning’s time in charge of Oxford United so far.

The 37-year-old took over the U’s on March 11 and has overseen four draws.

While perhaps not a thrilling start, Manning stopped the rot of five defeats prior to his arrival.

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The early signs of United under Manning have been good though, with the side now looking a much tougher team to play against.

Defensively, there is a clearer organisation and the U’s have shown they can grind out results against the better sides in Sky Bet League One.

Points against Peterborough United and Sheffield Wednesday demonstrate that, especially in keeping a clean sheet against the former.

It is at the other end of the pitch though where similar problems lie.

Going forward, it has very rarely clicked for United this season as the goals and exciting football of recent years dried up.

So far, Manning has been unable to do much about the lack of threat in the final third.

While those frustrations continue, he has taken the smart approach in building a team with solid foundations.

The next three games will test those foundations, and offer a better view of the U’s under Manning.