DES Buckingham is excited by the challenge of guiding Oxford United in their return to the second tier of English football for the first time in 25 years.

The U’s head coach returned to his hometown club in November, and led the team to promotion from Sky Bet League One via the play-offs in May.

Earlier this week, his name was at the top of bookmakers’ lists to become the new Wales boss, a post since filled by Craig Bellamy.

This newspaper understands that there was no approach from Wales for Buckingham, who remains solely focused on United.

READ ALSO: No approach from Wales for U’s boss Des Buckingham

Asked about the upcoming season in the Championship, Buckingham told the U’s YouTube channel: “It’s the reason I came back. It’s the reason I came to this club. The vision that was put in front of me and the fact it’s my hometown club as well.

“We’ve achieved the first tick in the box, which was getting into the Championship, so to be able to lead the club in the Championship for the first time in 25 years, and to build a squad, and put your own stamp on it with the type of football we want, that’s what excites me.

“The teams that will come to the Kassam will give us a real test, but we don’t want to be a team that tries to pick up a point here and there.

“We’ve tried to build a brand of football that people can be proud of, and we’ve tried to add in our recruitment, quality and some experience to complement what we already have.

“We’ve got a really exciting staff group that are working with these players to allow us to perform as well as we can, to hopefully have a good go at it.”