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    hilliatman wrote:
    Sat 12 May 12

    Well said, bigchet. I don’t expect most of those who post on this site to agree with this, as the majority of posters are fixated on blaming Wilder for the failure to make the play-offs. But to alleviate the depression that many will feel at reading the endless negativity, here’s another way of looking at things:

    1. Before the dreadful run-in, we lost two games in twenty. That’s nearly half a season. Does that really suggest a poor manager?
    2. We conceded fewer goals last season than all but two clubs. Is that the sign of a poor manager?
    3. We suffered fewer defeats than all but three. Same question.
    4. Do you really not think that any manager on the planet would have struggled to cope with the uncannily terrible luck with injuries we had to a small squad? (That’s not making an excuse for him – just being realistic.) In the circumstances, many, many managers would have failed to keep us anywhere near the play-offs, and it’s amazing we ended up still in contention on the last day.
    5. Is there really not a strong probability that, without the endless disruption through injuries, the endless enforced chopping and changing and rushed bedding in of loan players, Wilder would have seen us safely into the top four or five – and with a bit of luck, even higher?
    6. Those injuries were the sole reason why we had to take on board FAR too many loan players, one of whom (let’s not name him – it’s too depressing) was a seriously disruptive influence, not without skill but apparently lacking any semblance of a footballing brain – he must have been a nightmare to play with and to manage. And it’s no good saying “well, the manager picked him” – the reality is that no manager anywhere ever ever ever gets every signing right, loan or otherwise, and it often takes a number of games to discover that a skilful but clueless player is uncoachable and unchangeable.
    7. Talking of getting every signing right, is it not the case that the great majority of Wilder’s signings have been very positive additions? Do you really not think that last summer’s incomers – Leven, Duberry, Whing (much maligned at the start but proved to be supporters’ player of the season), Pittman (much maligned at the start but proved to be much missed when injured), Brown – were mostly very strong? Sure, we all know we need strengthening up front, but do you really not think Wilder knows that and is working on it? And does anyone really not think that every club in the country is desperate to find regular goalscorers? They’re like gold dust. And please don’t say “oh, but he doesn’t know good strikers - he let Midson and Green go!” Does anyone remember Midson playing for Wimbledon (in a system allegedly ideal for him) against us last season? Shouldn’t think so – he made no impression whatever on either game (at our place he hardly had a kick). And much as I liked Matt Green, and he’s done well in the Conference for Mansfield and did well in that league for us, can anyone with hand on heart see him scoring regularly in League 2?
    8. If the management and coaching are so questionable, why did Michael Duberry, who’s played at the highest level, say what a great set-up it was at Oxford United, and how even Premiership players could learn from the coaching sessions?
    9. However much you may want to question the way the club is run, and however much you may want to see cash splashed, just be grateful that it’s being run responsibly by people who clearly care. If you think we’ve got anything to complain about, take a look at what’s happening to our League Cup opponents of last August. I’m not talking about their 5-0 defeat in the Championship play-off: I’m talking about the plans of their Malaysian owners. Everything’s relative, and I’d say we’ve loads of reasons for optimism and confidence in the management and set-up. And success in football more often than not TAKES TIME, which all too many managers are not allowed. Sorry if that’s not what some of you want to hear. One post recently accused Wilder of behaving “like a spoilt brat” in responding to his critics. Some people might say that the real spoilt brats are those fans who, when they don’t get what they want AS SOON AS THEY WANT IT, throw their toys out of the pram.

    Good luck next season, CW. And come on you yellows.”
    want to say well done some one with sense at last !!!!!
    yes we need great players but will cost but it will show some intent on winning the league and not just going for play-offs all the time yes wembley is a good day out but so is winning the league
    i give up!! hall, heslop and smalley were great signings werent they, duberry would say its a great set up when ive started a new job i dont slagged it off on my first day. So you judge Midson just on his games against us?? i dont i just look at the score chart, yeah maybe he wasnt great against us but maybe he was trying too hard!! Maybe we didnt lose many but we didnt win many either we were the score draw experts, oxford city are catching us but bet if KT AND CW told you otherwise you would believe them."
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Thomas pinning faith in Oxford United boss Wilder

Thomas pinning faith in Oxford United boss Wilder

Kelvin Thomas

Chris Wilder

First published in npower League Two Table & Results Herald Series: Photograph of the Author by , Chief Sports Reporter covering Oxford United. Follow us on twitter: @oxfordmailoufc. Call me on 01865 425458

OXFORD United chairman Kelvin Thomas says manager Chris Wilder has his full backing – despite missing out on the play-offs this season.

The U’s spent the majority of the campaign inside npower League Two’s top seven, but a dismal run of results in the final weeks of the season proved very costly.

The club have spent this week analysing their ninth-place finish and which areas need to be improved for next season.

Changes are planned on the playing side, but one area of continuity is in the manager’s seat, with Wilder set to begin his fourth full season with United in August.

Thomas said: “Absolutely, I think Chris has shown over his time here that he can continue to improve.

“There are a lot of circumstances in football that you can’t legislate for and some of the injuries especially were part of that and came at bad times.

“There are a few things that have gone against Chris, but as a club we know how hard he works.

“We’ve got to make sure we give him the help he needs and not panic, because we didn’t achieve our goal.

“Chris knows as well as anybody that we didn’t achieve what we wanted, but we weren’t that far off it and we’ve got to make sure we get there next year.”

Wilder received criticism from a section of the club’s fans as results deteriorated during the run-in.

The 44-year-old remains deeply frustrated his side are not in the play-offs, which start today, but is fired up to come back stronger next season.

He said: “I’m possibly more determined than I’ve ever been in my managerial career to take us to where we want to go.

“People will always question the job you’re doing and expect more at every level, whether it’s (Sir Alex) Ferguson, (Arsene) Wenger, everyone.

“There will always be people that want a change, it annoys me at times because I think some people are very dismissive of the jobs people have done.

“Everybody has always talked about the stability at this club and we’ve had another season of improvement.

“But for every one that’s dismissive there are four or five who are supportive.

“I put more pressure on myself than anyone else does to succeed.

“I’m a very driven person and I’m absolutely gutted that we’ve not got in the play-offs because we worked extremely hard to get there.”

Wilder joined the U’s in December 2008, guinding them to promotion back into npower League Two via the Blue Square Premier play-offs 18 months later.

After three and a half years in charge at the Kassam Stadium, the former Halifax Town boss is now the 11th longest serving manager in the top four divisions.

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