Calls from Oxford United supporters for the club to make a swift decision over a new manager grew louder yesterday as the search for Chris Wilder’s replacement went past the 50-day mark.
After a promising start under caretaker manager Mickey Lewis, results have fallen away dramatically.
A run of two points from a possible 18 has seen the side slip out of top three contention and their play-off place is now coming under threat.
For many, a 3-0 defeat at Chesterfield on Saturday was a tipping point and they want to see a change before Friday’s home game with Hartlepool.
OxVox, the club’s supporters’ trust, have backed the club’s board in the past, but their committee released a statement yesterday urging action.
It read: “The position has been vacant for seven weeks and we’d hope that the board would be in a position to appoint a manager before this weekend’s fixtures.”
More than 1,100 had voted in a poll on the Oxford Mail website by 11pm last night and two-thirds wanted to see a new man in place this week.
Ian Lenagan has consistently stressed the search would not be rushed, with the priority on finding the right candidate via a thorough process.
The U’s chairman has declined to comment on the search in the last week and it is more than a fortnight since he said it was “more than 50 per cent complete”.
If it is impractical to bring someone in this week, OxVox urged United to give an update.
Joe Nicholls is involved with fans’ group the Yellow Army and while he can see why there has been little information, it is a source of frustration.
He said: “Virtually every fan I’ve spoken to since the weekend has said we need a manager now.
“I can understand the process is something the board can’t talk about openly, but with the season taking this nosedive, not hearing anything is a bit disappointing.
“Many people support the Lenagan vision. We are right behind that, but the fans are frustrated and the silence hasn’t helped.”
He added: “Mickey Lewis is a decent bloke and the fans love him, but he needs some help.
“We need someone to pick things up. Everyone is struggling and we need a lift.”