8:50am Friday 24th January 2014
By David Pritchard
THE bitter memory of suffering relegation from the Football League is driving Chris Hargreaves to get a result when he returns to Oxford United.
The 41-year-old took over at Torquay United three weeks ago and brings them to the Kassam Stadium tomorrow.
His new club are in a battle for survival and go into the game in Sky Bet League Two’s relegation zone.
As a player, Hargreaves was part of the United squad which dropped out of the league in 2006.
Hargreaves, who returned in 2010 for a second spell as the club won promotion back to League Two, is determined not to suffer the same fate as a manager.
He said: “I have fond memories of them.
“I went back to help them get back into the Football League.
“One of the reasons I went back there is because I wanted to help right that wrong and help get back into the league and it was achieved.
“I’m going to do my damnedest to make sure that (relegation) doesn’t happen here.”
The Gulls boss was among the spectators on Tuesday night as the U’s lost their FA Cup third round replay to Charlton Athletic.
Mediocre form at the Kassam has hampered United’s promotion ambitions and gives the visitors hope of claiming a result to boost their hopes.
Hargreaves said: “Oxford are seventh and we are 23rd and league positions tell you one story.
“But you only have to look at one or two other stats between the sides over the last few weeks and if you’re looking for it they can tell you a different story.”
U’s goalkeeper Ryan Clarke, who was a teammate of the new Gulls boss, said: “We know what Chris is all about. They’ve had a bit of a turnaround and picked up a couple of results.
“We need to get the Charlton result out of our system and make sure that whoever plays we are right for Saturday.
“We need a result to really kick on.”
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