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Gary Waddock has been appointed as Oxford United's new head coach.

The former Republic of Ireland international has signed a contract which will keep him at the club until the end of the 2015/16 season.

Waddock joins from MK Dons, where he was head of coaching, but the Sky Bet League One club allowed him to leave without the need for compensation.

He will meet the players for the first time on Sunday morning ahead of Monday night's visit to Southend United.

Waddock said: "I'm excited, it's a big club.

"The club is in a very healthy position in the league table and we have some exciting games coming up.

"It will be a challenge, but it's one I'm really looking forward to."

U's chairman Ian Lenagan was delighted to conclude a process which had taken eight weeks to find a replacement for Chris Wilder.

He said: "We see it as a long-term appointment.

"Gary's CV brings the exact mix of attributes we stated we were looking for.

"He's had success as a manager in the lower leagues, top-class coaching experience, understanding of sports science and a track record of playing attacking football and developing young players through to the first team."

Waddock had success with both Aldershot Town, where he won the Conference title in 2008, and Wycombe Wanderers, who he guided to automatic promotion from League Two in 2011.