SATURDAY’S conflicting post-match comments from Oxford United chairman Ian Lenagan and Chris Wilder will hopefully not be the lasting impression over the manager’s exit from the Kassam Stadium.
Wilder is the man Northampton targeted as their manager and there have clearly been tense discussions over the past few days that those outside United will never know the full extent of. Saturday evening’s events, however, left thousands of fans mystified and concerned, as they hope the saga does not derail the club’s promotion drive.
Shortly after the final whistle, Lenagan said he understood Wilder had quit and was gone. A little over three hours later, the manager countered that he had not resigned.
Of course both sides had their respective positions to protect and both points of view can be understood.
United couldn’t lose arguably their most important employee without proper compensation, while Wilder has a career and a family to consider.
With last night’s confirmation that the club had accepted his resignation, hopefully both sides can part with no lasting rancour.
After all, United gave Wilder a larger platform to perform on and in turn he has given admirable service, most notably returning the club to the Football League.
It would be a travesty if the manner of Wilder’s departure was to forever taint the club’s memories of him and his affection for the U’s.