CRAIG Short reckons Oxford United will look to replace Liam Manning with a head coach in a similar mould.

Manning left the U’s on Tuesday, to take the managerial vacancy at Sky Bet Championship side Bristol City.

At both United and in his previous position at MK Dons, Manning built a reputation as a young, progressive boss who favoured possession-based football and worked with players in great detail on the training pitch in order to develop them.

Interim U’s head coach Short believes the club will seek a like-for-like replacement for Manning when they ramp up their search in the coming days.

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Short said: “It’s an attractive job, isn’t it? Coming to this club would be good, but when you’re in this position, with a well-backed club, getting a new stadium, and then some very good players here as we’ve seen in the last few months.

“I heard there was 80 [applicants] and it’s probably more than that now.

“The appointment of Liam was a manager who’s got a really different outlook to things, a younger manager, and when you’re looking at these coaches now, they’re getting younger and younger.

“Liam had done his hard miles in the academies, and he’s travelled all over the world. I think you’re looking for someone like that, who’s got all their licences and Pro Licences.

“Liam was very analytical and with the IT stuff, the presentations were another level from what I’ve seen as a player and a coach.

“I think that’s the avenue the management will be going down to pick a new manager.”

Of the current bookmakers’ favourites, that would leave Notts County head coach Luke Williams and Manchester City development squad lead coach Brian Barry-Murphy, plus Oxford-born Mumbai City boss Des Buckingham, as the most likely candidates to take charge at United.

Short applied for the head coach role when Karl Robinson was sacked in February, so has an inside view on what the recruitment process and interviews will be like for those interested in the vacancy this time.

He said: “When Liam walked in, the right man was coming in for the job. He saved us from going down and he got us in this position now.

“I know a lot of people are disappointed and quite a lot of people are angry, but this industry throws up so many connotations.

“It can really shock you at times, but he’s going to better things for his family.

“It’s a rigorous procedure they put you through here, so they’ll get the right person.”