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Oxford boss Wilder plays waiting game

Oxford United manager Chris Wilder says he will bide his time over signings

Oxford United manager Chris Wilder says he will bide his time over signings

First published in United News 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 supporters are being warned not to expect a busy summer in the transfer market by manager Chris Wilder.

Recent close seasons have seen a flurry of activity, with a host of new signings arriving at the Kassam Stadium.

But only minor changes are likely before the next npower League Two season kicks off in August.

Wilder, pictured right, is looking for a 21-man first-team squad and as it stands there are 17 senior professionals already contracted to the club.

The U’s boss admitted everyone was going to have to be patient before the squad was strengthened.

“Definitely, it might be a really quiet summer, but we have to make sure we do the business right,” he said.

“I don’t think it’ll be the same situation that we’ve had over the last two or three years.”

Wilder is unlikely to have more money to spend on the playing staff than he had last season.

Although Asa Hall’s exit last week meant six players have left the club since the end of the season, it does not mean there is room to bring in another six.

Liam Davis, Alfie Potter and Jake Wright all signed improved contracts during last season, giving the U’s boss less room for manoeuvre now.

U’s chairman Kelvin Thomas believes the resources available remain competitive for a club looking to at least make the play-offs.

Kelvin said: “I’ve had some discussions with (owner) Ian (Lenagan,) and Chris, it was a budget to get into the top seven and I think it can do that – we have the players there and it’s a solid group.

“It’s not major surgery that’s needed, it’s a case of adding to what we’ve got.

“As a club we’ll always look to get good deals and both protect and gain assets, but we’re not going to splash down £250,000-500,000 on someone like some clubs can.

“Fair play to them if they can, but it’s just not where we’re at here.”

Wilder has shown several targets around the Kassam Stadium, but he is aware of competition from rivals in the same division with deeper pockets.

He said: “These guys are also talking to the Rotherhams, the Fleetwoods, the Northamptons of this world.

“I don’t think we can do anymore than show them our ambition, the drive that I’ve got which persuaded people like Michael Duberry, Peter Leven and Andy Whing to join us when they had other offers.

“It will be the same this summer – we’ll work extremely hard showing them round.

“They speak to the chairman, the staff, we talk about the fanbase and the fantastic support we have. We talk about what we want to do, which is going up.”

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