Decision time for Oxford United over Portsmouth's approach for boss Chris Wilder

Herald Series: Oxford United manager Chris Wilder applauds the travelling fans at Fleetwood on Saturday after an 89th-minute equaliser preserved his side’s unbeaten away record Oxford United manager Chris Wilder applauds the travelling fans at Fleetwood on Saturday after an 89th-minute equaliser preserved his side’s unbeaten away record

OXFORD United will have to make a decision this week over interest in boss Chris Wilder.

The Oxford Mail understands Portsmouth have approached the U’s to request permission to speak with their manager.

When contacted yesterday, Ian Lenagan declined to add to comments made in a radio interview on Saturday evening, when the United chairman said he had not heard anything from Portsmouth, but was “not concerned”.

Mark Catlin, chief executive at Fratton Park, confirmed they had made approaches to a number of clubs as part of the search for the successor to Guy Whittingham, who was sacked last week.

The Portsmouth chief would not be drawn on specific targets and said whatever they did would be via the correct channels.

Herald Series:

  • Oxford United's players head towards the visiting fans after their draw at Fleetwood on Saturday

Wilder is out of contract at United in the summer, but Lenagan said he was not worried about potential interest.

“I think anyone would be interested in Chris Wilder,” he said. “Who wouldn’t be interested in a manager who is top of the league?

“I think it is delightful that a club wants Chris Wilder. I wouldn’t want him to go, he has a contract with us.”

Lenagan added: “I am not concerned about Portsmouth at all.”

The situation should become clearer within the next couple of days.

Pompey are believed to want a definitive short-list by tomorrow, with interviews beginning later in the week, so United would have to make their intentions clear by then.

Richie Barker, who was sacked by Crawley two days after Whittingham’s exit, is the bookmakers’ favourite, with Wilder next best at 3-1.

Herald Series:

  • Dave Kitson celebrates his 89th-minute equaliser

The United manager has steered United to the top of Sky Bet League Two this season despite a crippling injury list and small first-team squad.

His record means that the U’s boss, who is nearing a fifth anniversary in charge, is likely to be targeted.

With his contract expiring at the end of this season, clubs may feel the offer of a long-term deal could prove tempting.

Portsmouth remain attractive too and despite sitting 17th in Sky Bet League Two, their average home gates are in excess of 15,000.

Comments (17)

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9:33am Mon 2 Dec 13

OUFC 4 EVA says...

IL would be crazy to let CW go!!! i mean we're top of the league FFS, why would he?
IL would be crazy to let CW go!!! i mean we're top of the league FFS, why would he? OUFC 4 EVA

9:52am Mon 2 Dec 13

ExiledinBristol says...

Wilder is a good manager. This could work well for him personally and he might get an extended contract out of it. I am not sure why he would want to go to Pompey at this time, plus I am not sure that they could appoint Wilder anyway as they aren't allowed to pay compensation as part of their administration agreement (see BBC sport website for reference).
I'd like to see Wilder stay and finish the job in getting us promotion. He is currently doing a great job - we are top of the league and still in the FA Cup with a great chance of getting to the third round with some much-needed tv cash on the way.
Wilder is a good manager. This could work well for him personally and he might get an extended contract out of it. I am not sure why he would want to go to Pompey at this time, plus I am not sure that they could appoint Wilder anyway as they aren't allowed to pay compensation as part of their administration agreement (see BBC sport website for reference). I'd like to see Wilder stay and finish the job in getting us promotion. He is currently doing a great job - we are top of the league and still in the FA Cup with a great chance of getting to the third round with some much-needed tv cash on the way. ExiledinBristol

10:12am Mon 2 Dec 13

BigAlBiker says...

Let him go, get some compo from pompey and get some quick skillful midfield players in.

Perhaps anther centre half as well to cover as Whing is out for a while.
Let him go, get some compo from pompey and get some quick skillful midfield players in. Perhaps anther centre half as well to cover as Whing is out for a while. BigAlBiker

1:05pm Mon 2 Dec 13

Doctor69 says...

Wilder Out!
Wilder Out! Doctor69

1:09pm Mon 2 Dec 13

Southstandupper says...

Well said BigAlBiker but me thinks if CW does go any "compo" as you put it would probably go toward appointing another manager unless we promote Lewis and Melville which I doubt you would be keen on. I would like CW to finish the job this season here and maybe given an opportunity to show if he has the ability to manage at a higher level with possibly more money to play with. But... as I said before if CW goes there are others who will take over.
Well said BigAlBiker but me thinks if CW does go any "compo" as you put it would probably go toward appointing another manager unless we promote Lewis and Melville which I doubt you would be keen on. I would like CW to finish the job this season here and maybe given an opportunity to show if he has the ability to manage at a higher level with possibly more money to play with. But... as I said before if CW goes there are others who will take over. Southstandupper

1:45pm Mon 2 Dec 13

Roy Burton's shorts says...

I don't like the way we set-up and play percentages football at home and that's down to CW. But it would be mental to let him go now, creating disruption when we are better placed than ever before to get out of L2. I'll happily suffer other 10 frustrating home games if we stay in the top 3.
CW haters should be careful what they wish for.
I don't like the way we set-up and play percentages football at home and that's down to CW. But it would be mental to let him go now, creating disruption when we are better placed than ever before to get out of L2. I'll happily suffer other 10 frustrating home games if we stay in the top 3. CW haters should be careful what they wish for. Roy Burton's shorts

1:53pm Mon 2 Dec 13

Sid Snakey says...

OUFC 4 EVA wrote:
IL would be crazy to let CW go!!! i mean we're top of the league FFS, why would he?
Whilst I don't want Wilder to leave, I think there are some very good reasons why he might consider it:-

1. He is in a precarious position at Oxford. He has only half a year left on his contract, and if we were to hit a bad run of form in the latter half of the season and finish poorly then that contract will not be renewed.

2. He therefore may be tempted to cash his chips in now, and get a longer term contract somewhere else, rather than risk looking like a failure with no job at the end of the season.

3. Let's face it - he is not universally popular with the fans. I would say he has landed well and truly in the "hate zone" with some fans, and from there few managers ever return. Even though we are top of the league, the attendances show what some fans think of him.

4. Although Pompey are a spent force now, they have a large fan base and will at some point return to a higher division I'm sure.

I hope those factors are not playing on his mind, I hope he stays focussed, gets the job done and proves a few people well and truly wrong.
[quote][p][bold]OUFC 4 EVA[/bold] wrote: IL would be crazy to let CW go!!! i mean we're top of the league FFS, why would he?[/p][/quote]Whilst I don't want Wilder to leave, I think there are some very good reasons why he might consider it:- 1. He is in a precarious position at Oxford. He has only half a year left on his contract, and if we were to hit a bad run of form in the latter half of the season and finish poorly then that contract will not be renewed. 2. He therefore may be tempted to cash his chips in now, and get a longer term contract somewhere else, rather than risk looking like a failure with no job at the end of the season. 3. Let's face it - he is not universally popular with the fans. I would say he has landed well and truly in the "hate zone" with some fans, and from there few managers ever return. Even though we are top of the league, the attendances show what some fans think of him. 4. Although Pompey are a spent force now, they have a large fan base and will at some point return to a higher division I'm sure. I hope those factors are not playing on his mind, I hope he stays focussed, gets the job done and proves a few people well and truly wrong. Sid Snakey

1:57pm Mon 2 Dec 13

dave from witney says...

Southstandupper wrote:
Well said BigAlBiker but me thinks if CW does go any "compo" as you put it would probably go toward appointing another manager unless we promote Lewis and Melville which I doubt you would be keen on. I would like CW to finish the job this season here and maybe given an opportunity to show if he has the ability to manage at a higher level with possibly more money to play with. But... as I said before if CW goes there are others who will take over.
If Wilder should go then I hope he takes his backroom staff with him. In one way I hope that he stays, considering our position. But if he goes, plenty more fish in the sea....and fish that could manage in division one as well.
[quote][p][bold]Southstandupper[/bold] wrote: Well said BigAlBiker but me thinks if CW does go any "compo" as you put it would probably go toward appointing another manager unless we promote Lewis and Melville which I doubt you would be keen on. I would like CW to finish the job this season here and maybe given an opportunity to show if he has the ability to manage at a higher level with possibly more money to play with. But... as I said before if CW goes there are others who will take over.[/p][/quote]If Wilder should go then I hope he takes his backroom staff with him. In one way I hope that he stays, considering our position. But if he goes, plenty more fish in the sea....and fish that could manage in division one as well. dave from witney

2:58pm Mon 2 Dec 13

BigAlBiker says...

Wilder out, take Melville and knobbly knees Lewis with him, get a younger manager who wants to make a name for himself and knows a modern game plan, like defending from the front as other teams do while Beano and his mates are still wandering back and getting caught offside all the time.

He has had his time, failed in my book.
Wilder out, take Melville and knobbly knees Lewis with him, get a younger manager who wants to make a name for himself and knows a modern game plan, like defending from the front as other teams do while Beano and his mates are still wandering back and getting caught offside all the time. He has had his time, failed in my book. BigAlBiker

3:01pm Mon 2 Dec 13

Southstandupper says...

Just heard from a mate in Barnsley who says CW's name is being banded about there as a possible managerial candidate. Not sure how much truth is in this but it is local to him and his family!!!!
Just heard from a mate in Barnsley who says CW's name is being banded about there as a possible managerial candidate. Not sure how much truth is in this but it is local to him and his family!!!! Southstandupper

3:09pm Mon 2 Dec 13

BigAlBiker says...

What about Sheffield Wednesday or Wigan, he can go to either a far as i care.
What about Sheffield Wednesday or Wigan, he can go to either a far as i care. BigAlBiker

4:13pm Mon 2 Dec 13

bigchet says...

cannot understand why some posters would be happy for cw to leave, we are in a strong position with the best away record in the football league and players that want to play for each other and for the manager so why change it. considering the injury list we are doing remarkably well ' i feel that the club is well run and well managed and i hope that cw stays with us for the future.
cannot understand why some posters would be happy for cw to leave, we are in a strong position with the best away record in the football league and players that want to play for each other and for the manager so why change it. considering the injury list we are doing remarkably well ' i feel that the club is well run and well managed and i hope that cw stays with us for the future. bigchet

4:25pm Mon 2 Dec 13

Headington Jim says...

Some seem to want CW to go despite the good job he has done for us. I notice that there are no suggestions as who might do better. Have we forgotten the series of dreadful Mangers we had with success to match.
We are still top of the league with a team which, when they are all fit could win this division. Do we really want to throw that all away?
Some seem to want CW to go despite the good job he has done for us. I notice that there are no suggestions as who might do better. Have we forgotten the series of dreadful Mangers we had with success to match. We are still top of the league with a team which, when they are all fit could win this division. Do we really want to throw that all away? Headington Jim

7:03pm Mon 2 Dec 13

OX20Yellow says...

Sid Snakey wrote:
OUFC 4 EVA wrote:
IL would be crazy to let CW go!!! i mean we're top of the league FFS, why would he?
Whilst I don't want Wilder to leave, I think there are some very good reasons why he might consider it:-

1. He is in a precarious position at Oxford. He has only half a year left on his contract, and if we were to hit a bad run of form in the latter half of the season and finish poorly then that contract will not be renewed.

2. He therefore may be tempted to cash his chips in now, and get a longer term contract somewhere else, rather than risk looking like a failure with no job at the end of the season.

3. Let's face it - he is not universally popular with the fans. I would say he has landed well and truly in the "hate zone" with some fans, and from there few managers ever return. Even though we are top of the league, the attendances show what some fans think of him.

4. Although Pompey are a spent force now, they have a large fan base and will at some point return to a higher division I'm sure.

I hope those factors are not playing on his mind, I hope he stays focussed, gets the job done and proves a few people well and truly wrong.
Fair Points Sid,
Add to that his perceived lack of 'chairman support' in seaking loan replacements for half the key squad members out of action for "months".
Under a previous regime replacements would have been sought - Expensive as that is, home gates are currently not producing spectacular added revenue due to a flat run, half a squad and it aint feeling like our home with no Priory etc?
The answer that youth will get us through just don't wash!
Chris, plus other out of contract team members have to look to secure the mortgage payments etc for next season and politician type, smart answers from the chairman dont really lift a great 'backs to the wall' effort being conducted away from home by the strong but few?
[quote][p][bold]Sid Snakey[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]OUFC 4 EVA[/bold] wrote: IL would be crazy to let CW go!!! i mean we're top of the league FFS, why would he?[/p][/quote]Whilst I don't want Wilder to leave, I think there are some very good reasons why he might consider it:- 1. He is in a precarious position at Oxford. He has only half a year left on his contract, and if we were to hit a bad run of form in the latter half of the season and finish poorly then that contract will not be renewed. 2. He therefore may be tempted to cash his chips in now, and get a longer term contract somewhere else, rather than risk looking like a failure with no job at the end of the season. 3. Let's face it - he is not universally popular with the fans. I would say he has landed well and truly in the "hate zone" with some fans, and from there few managers ever return. Even though we are top of the league, the attendances show what some fans think of him. 4. Although Pompey are a spent force now, they have a large fan base and will at some point return to a higher division I'm sure. I hope those factors are not playing on his mind, I hope he stays focussed, gets the job done and proves a few people well and truly wrong.[/p][/quote]Fair Points Sid, Add to that his perceived lack of 'chairman support' in seaking loan replacements for half the key squad members out of action for "months". Under a previous regime replacements would have been sought - Expensive as that is, home gates are currently not producing spectacular added revenue due to a flat run, half a squad and it aint feeling like our home with no Priory etc? The answer that youth will get us through just don't wash! Chris, plus other out of contract team members have to look to secure the mortgage payments etc for next season and politician type, smart answers from the chairman dont really lift a great 'backs to the wall' effort being conducted away from home by the strong but few? OX20Yellow

7:30pm Mon 2 Dec 13

OxRoxBox says...

Personally I think CW would be mad to stay. This is on the basis of him thinking "if I am not worth a Contract extension today then why should I be offered one tomorrow or the end of the season?". He has done his best (in my opinion not quite enough in a very poor League) and Pompey are a FAR bigger Club and fanbase than our lovely OUFC. The Pompey fans are very enthusuastic (yes I was at the Manor when Maxwell had to stop us fighting ourselves when the Pompey massive literally smashed their way in). Not that I like Pompey but the fans are loyal and have had some poor luck with owners and terrible FA decisions on whom is a suitable owner etc etc. Now they have wrestled control they will rise again . . . sadly until we escape Kassam's clutches we will struggle even on 11000 attendances every home game.
If I was Wilder I would consider but stay and finish the promotion charge at Oxford then leave head held high.
But money talks and let's all be honest we all seek security??? . . . he has no contract for his family and him in a few months. It could all go t*ts up and he will be up the Creek without a Paddle some come IL and the fans get behind him and make it hard for him to leave, support the Club guys and the Manager (no matter what you think) the Home form and gates will rise and Automatic is achievable in this poor poor League.
Personally I think CW would be mad to stay. This is on the basis of him thinking "if I am not worth a Contract extension today then why should I be offered one tomorrow or the end of the season?". He has done his best (in my opinion not quite enough in a very poor League) and Pompey are a FAR bigger Club and fanbase than our lovely OUFC. The Pompey fans are very enthusuastic (yes I was at the Manor when Maxwell had to stop us fighting ourselves when the Pompey massive literally smashed their way in). Not that I like Pompey but the fans are loyal and have had some poor luck with owners and terrible FA decisions on whom is a suitable owner etc etc. Now they have wrestled control they will rise again . . . sadly until we escape Kassam's clutches we will struggle even on 11000 attendances every home game. If I was Wilder I would consider but stay and finish the promotion charge at Oxford then leave head held high. But money talks and let's all be honest we all seek security??? . . . he has no contract for his family and him in a few months. It could all go t*ts up and he will be up the Creek without a Paddle some come IL and the fans get behind him and make it hard for him to leave, support the Club guys and the Manager (no matter what you think) the Home form and gates will rise and Automatic is achievable in this poor poor League. OxRoxBox

9:44pm Mon 2 Dec 13

martico1 says...

Good to see the vote 73% in favour of CW staying - that shows the negative posters are in much smaller minority than their noise on here would suggest.
There is not one hint on here as to who we might get who is better (and how would anyone know in any case?). Agreed the home performances are pretty dismal but I'm still rocking on the Mansfield show, and it looks like Saturday's second-half was as splendid. Those players who still fit enough to keep producing that are not doing it without right behind CW - and Super Dave was persuaded to join us by that man. Agreed the club now has to show commitment to keep him - but he's only got six months left because of doubts at end of last season, remember!
Good to see the vote 73% in favour of CW staying - that shows the negative posters are in much smaller minority than their noise on here would suggest. There is not one hint on here as to who we might get who is better (and how would anyone know in any case?). Agreed the home performances are pretty dismal but I'm still rocking on the Mansfield show, and it looks like Saturday's second-half was as splendid. Those players who still fit enough to keep producing that are not doing it without right behind CW - and Super Dave was persuaded to join us by that man. Agreed the club now has to show commitment to keep him - but he's only got six months left because of doubts at end of last season, remember! martico1

10:53am Tue 3 Dec 13

train passenger says...

There are only two successful models in football: Big spending and long-term stability. If you are not going for the former (and Ian Lenagan is clearly not, probably rightly so), you must adhere to the latter (stick with a manager long-term).
There are only two successful models in football: Big spending and long-term stability. If you are not going for the former (and Ian Lenagan is clearly not, probably rightly so), you must adhere to the latter (stick with a manager long-term). train passenger

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