GARY Waddock admitted he was pleased the season was over after Oxford United’s disastrous form was extended with a 3-1 defeat at Northampton Town.
It was a fitting sign-off for a side which has been in freefall for weeks, collecting eight points from the final third of the season.
The result was made all the more painful as it came against a team managed by Chris Wilder, who had moulded them into promotion contenders before leaving in January.
The rot had set in by the time Waddock arrived in March, but this was the seventh defeat of his eight games in charge.
United’s head coach has spoken of the need for change and is keen to begin the rebuilding process this week after a nightmare start.
“I’m pleased it’s finished,” he said.
“I have drawn a line under it already and now I’m looking to the future.
“We can’t look back and think ‘if only this or that had happened’.
“We are where we are and now I have an opportunity to do what I want to do.
“I said to the lads we should be celebrating getting into the play-offs. For whatever reason that hasn’t happened.
“Towards the back end of the season it’s not worked out, so there’s something fundamentally wrong.”
United looked dangerous early in Saturday’s match and opened the scoring through Ryan Williams.
But the loanee’s dismissal on 19 minutes changed the game and Northampton went on to dominate.
While Waddock felt the hosts’ goals were preventable, he pointed to the red card as the turning point.
He said: “I thought we started the game very well, we moved the ball around well and caused them problems.
“We got an opportunity and took it, but then a moment of madness in many ways cost us the game.
“It changed everything in the game. These things happen but it was a very silly thing that he did.”