Mixed reaction from Oxford United fans over Wilder's departure

Chris Wilder

Chris Wilder

First published in News The Oxford Times: Photograph of the Author by , Council Reporter, also covering Oxford city centre. Call me on 01865 425429

OXFORD United fans are divided as they bid farewell to the manager who led their team back to the Football League.

The club is now starting the search for a new manager after Chris Wilder, right, was officially unveiled as Northampton Town boss yesterday after a weekend of confusion.

Mark Sennett, chairman of supporters’ group OxVox, said: “It was a bit of a mess at the end but at least it was resolved quickly.

“There were plenty of people who wanted him to go and also people who didn’t but we have got great memories of him and now we have to move on. Hopefully the club will pick the right man who can unite the fans.”

Angling writer and U’s fan Thom Airs, 29, agreed his departure might be for the best.

He said: “I have to say that pound for pound he was the best manager I have seen at Oxford and I have been a fan since 1991 and he gave us some amazing memories.

“But it was messy and it was a bit of a shame that it ended the way it did.”

Bicester resident and fan of 50 years Chris Davis said: “I am not overly disappointed. I think both the club and the manager needed a change and that’s not necessarily because of home results.”

After the U’s 1-0 win over Torquay on Saturday Wilder told the players it was likely to be his last game in charge.

The club’s chairman Ian Lenagan then announced the 46-year-old had resigned.

This was denied by the United boss but late on Sunday it was confirmed his resignation had been accepted and compensation had been agreed, ending Wilder’s five-year spell as the club’s manager.

And Tom Thewlis, 22, from Enstone, said: “I think he has done a superb job while he has been at the club and he has transformed it into a well-established Football League club.”

In recent years the style of football and the lack of home victories had turned some of the fans against Wilder, and supporter Trevor Lambert, 62, from Headington, said this could have led to his departure.

He said: “Fans have a fairly mixed view as to whether he would have taken the club much further.”

Comments (1)

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11:30am Tue 28 Jan 14

Richard Wickson says...

Looking at the Poll results we are obviously split, I am not surprised the "gutted he's gone" figure is so high although I think his time was up. He has left us in a decent position although it could have been so much better had he got forwards in who could score more. We should thank him though for getting us out of the Conference and reasonably stable in Division 4. He definitely isn't amongst the worst managers we have had but is only slightly above mid table for me. Arthur Turner is still top for me as he achieved so much more and of course the Bald Eagles first tenure is a close second, though of course Turner achieved what he did on far less funding. I will always remember vividly him gesturing to his players with a few minutes to go when we knocked Blackburn out of the cup, he was delighted and rightly so,
Looking at the Poll results we are obviously split, I am not surprised the "gutted he's gone" figure is so high although I think his time was up. He has left us in a decent position although it could have been so much better had he got forwards in who could score more. We should thank him though for getting us out of the Conference and reasonably stable in Division 4. He definitely isn't amongst the worst managers we have had but is only slightly above mid table for me. Arthur Turner is still top for me as he achieved so much more and of course the Bald Eagles first tenure is a close second, though of course Turner achieved what he did on far less funding. I will always remember vividly him gesturing to his players with a few minutes to go when we knocked Blackburn out of the cup, he was delighted and rightly so, Richard Wickson
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