Wilder’s New Year contract resolution

Article by Dan Church Wednesday, December 18th, 2013  

Oxford United chairman Ian Lenagan has expressed his plans to sit down with Chris Wilder in the New Year over a new deal for the in-demand manager. The 46-year-old is out of contract at the end of the season, and with the Yellows currently top of Division Four going into the Christmas period, Wilder’s services has created interest from other Football League clubs.

Fellow League Two outfit Portsmouth were granted permission to speak with United’s boss earlier this month, but he was pipped to the post by former Crawley Town manager Richie Barker. Wilder only penned a new one-year deal in the summer to remain as Oxford manager, but knew only promotion come the end of this campaign will see him remain boss at the Kassam Stadium thereafter.

Lenagan revealed the Us have a 12-month contract extension clause in his contract, but admits he is in no rush to complete any paperwork immediately: “I would very much like him to stay but to do that he has to achieve, and he is currently.

“Promotion is what we want. Now we are going to have to make a decision before we know whether we have won promotion or not, that is the fair thing to do.

“We cannot wait until the end of May when a man will not know if he has a job or not. That is not fair. The right time is soon and in the New Year. If we carry on doing what we are doing, have no doubt he will be our manager next year.”

Wilder arrived at Grenoble Road back in December 2008, succeeding Darren Patterson at the helm back in the Conference. The former Bury assistant notably achieved promotion back into the Football League in May 2010 after defeating York City 3-1 at Wembley Stadium.

After some close shaves of coming within play-off contention in Division Four, some Us fans thought it was time Wilder left the club after United finished ninth, but Lenagan surprised some by handing Wilder a new contract in late April, and believes he is reaping the rewards after offering Wilder a new deal.

“I think Chris Wilder has done everything we asked him to do” Lenagan added. “He communicates with the fans a lot better. He picks and recruits young players. He has recruited superbly in the summer and the team spirit among the players is excellent.

“We are top of the league, still in the FA Cup and Chris has delivered, and I am delighted. He has gone from a good manager to being a very good manager.

“He wants to take the club into League One and hopefully the Championship, and there would be nothing better if he earned the right to do that.”

And lastly Lenagan, 67, also mentioned opening contract negotiations with Oxford’s out-of-contract players in January, with fan favourites James Constable and Ryan Clarke among those whose deal will expire next summer.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, December 18th, 2013 at 1:00 am and appears under 2013, News Items. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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