9:00am Tuesday 3rd December 2013
By David Pritchard
Oxford United’s supporters have made their feelings clear on the speculation over manager Chris Wilder’s future.
The club remained silent yesterday, although the Oxford Mail understands they have received a formal approach from Ports-mouth to speak with the U’s boss.
When the story broke on Saturday, Ian Lenagan responded by asking what supporters thought about the situation.
We are able to answer the question, after polling fans on the Oxford Mail website yesterday.
More than 1,600 votes were cast, with almost three-quarters keen for the club to do what they could to keep Wilder.
It did not surprise Joe Nicholls, who has organised Ultimate Support days to boost the atmosphere at home games and is a leading member of supporter group the Yellow Army.
He said: “From the fans I have spoken to, the majority want him to stay.
“The fact is we are top of the league, what more do you want?
“At this stage I don’t want anything to change and I would hope Chris Wilder feels the same.”
Nicholls thinks Wilder should be given the chance to speak to Portsmouth, but predicted it would lead to him staying put.
“If Portsmouth want to speak there’s not much point in stopping him,” he said.
“I believe if he went there he wouldn’t be interested.
“I think the long-term plan at Oxford is a good one by using the young players, and I can’t imagine Portsmouth having anything like that in the near future.”
United will have to make their position clear soon, as Portsmouth are due to begin interviews today in the hope of making an appointment by next Monday.
Their short-list decreased yesterday, as Newport County revealed they had rejected an approach from the Hampshire club after a discussion with manager Justin Edinburgh.
Mark Sennett, chairman of United’s supporters’ trust OxVox, called for fans to put their faith in Lenagan.
He said: “I think we have got to trust the owner to make a decision.
“He made one at the end of last season (awarding Wilder a new contract) and right now all fans have got to be delighted with where we are in the league.
“It will be an interesting few days to see what happens.”
But Sennett was keen to see the situation resolved as quickly as possible.
“Nobody wants the attention to be taken away from the great position we are in, so we don’t want to see it drawn out,” he said.
SHOULD WILDER STAY WITH UNITED?
As voted for by readers at oxfordmail.co.uk/sport
YES 73% NO 27%
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