Lenagan: Mickey is a safe pair of hands

Oxford Mail: Mickey Lewis gesticulates towards the Torquay bench during Saturday’s match Mickey Lewis gesticulates towards the Torquay bench during Saturday’s match

Ian Lenagan has backed the remainder of Oxford United’s coaching staff to keep the side on track for promotion after Chris Wilder’s exit.

Mickey Lewis agreed to take over as caretaker-manager on Saturday night and will face the media this afternoon ahead of tomorrow’s trip to Exeter City.

The U’s are well placed in Sky Bet League Two’s play-off places, but with seven games in the next 26 days they can ill-afford a slump in form.

Lewis has experience of the role, taking the helm for three months at United from October 1999.

Lenagan has confidence the staff will cope while the search goes on for Wilder’s replacement.

He said: “The very fortunate thing is we have a superb structure in terms of assistant mangers, conditioning and physio. I’m not at all concerned about that aspect of it.

“You always consider what the options might be, but in Mickey Lewis in particular we’ve got a guy who has done stand-in management before. Mickey is more than capable of handling the team over a few matches.

“We have other people in the background helping and we’ll be inundated by people, who want the job, of the right calibre.

“It’s just a pity that it’s come to this, obviously at this particular time, but from an Oxford viewpoint I feel very positively about the future.

“I think with the squad and the background staff we have got in coaching, and all of the other areas, I don’t feel in any way exposed going forward.”

He added: “I feel confident we can weather the next few weeks positively and that we will get an excellent manager going forward.”

Lenagan’s intention is to keep the backroom staff and appoint a manager who will be happy to work with them.

It is not known whether Wilder will attempt to take any of his staff with him up the A43.

United’s chairman is hopeful their connection to the club will outweigh any loyalty to the former manager.

“I don’t worry about it,” Lenagan said.

“You’re never absolutely sure, but whilst they respect Chris and have enjoyed working with Chris they have a large affinity for Oxford and we would like them to stay.

“I’ve never been one for bringing in a new manager and a whole team, I have made that very clear.

“So as far as I’m concerned Mickey Lewis and Andy Melville are very important parts going forward, as are Alasdair Lane and our physio (Andy Lord).

“It’s very important to us that those people continue.

“There’s always a little bit of disruption when a manager leaves, but we have good systems and structures in place and I’m sure we will manage well.”

Comments (3)

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2:32pm Mon 27 Jan 14

Richard Wickson says...

Mmmmmm? We wait with baited breath. Meanwhile what's happening to the possible new players that were in the pipeline last week? Good luck to the Squad and Management tomorrow, continue that away record and form and give Exeter a dig for delaying our escape from the Conference, some like me remember that more than beating that shower along the A420. I hope Jake Wrights rest brings him back refreshed for the run in, he had been on a bit of a dip although saving the probable goal on Saturday was brilliant. Raynes is an able deputy. 3 points is needed.
Mmmmmm? We wait with baited breath. Meanwhile what's happening to the possible new players that were in the pipeline last week? Good luck to the Squad and Management tomorrow, continue that away record and form and give Exeter a dig for delaying our escape from the Conference, some like me remember that more than beating that shower along the A420. I hope Jake Wrights rest brings him back refreshed for the run in, he had been on a bit of a dip although saving the probable goal on Saturday was brilliant. Raynes is an able deputy. 3 points is needed. Richard Wickson

2:54pm Mon 27 Jan 14

South Upper 87 says...

I've got no problems with Mickey Lewis for two or three weeks, he took over before and had good results. I reckon the team will be up for it tomorrow, looking forward to the trip.Judging by a couple of tweets from former players, some of the squad are not too unhappy to see the back of Wilder. One certainty is that if Beano does move on, he will not go to Northampton. Seems Wilder has had his number two lined up for a while as well.
I've got no problems with Mickey Lewis for two or three weeks, he took over before and had good results. I reckon the team will be up for it tomorrow, looking forward to the trip.Judging by a couple of tweets from former players, some of the squad are not too unhappy to see the back of Wilder. One certainty is that if Beano does move on, he will not go to Northampton. Seems Wilder has had his number two lined up for a while as well. South Upper 87

4:05pm Mon 27 Jan 14

bigchet says...

trying to look at both sides regarding cw departure i can understand chris wanting more security but he agreed the one year deal and was glad to sign it. i expect il was frustrated that chris wanted to sound out another club as it showed a lack of committment to utd. a sad way to end cw stint as our manager, but we must move on now and hopefully we can sign a couple of players this week. an absolute priority is to offer the players that are out of contract this season new deals as players like jake wright and james constable are very important to us.
trying to look at both sides regarding cw departure i can understand chris wanting more security but he agreed the one year deal and was glad to sign it. i expect il was frustrated that chris wanted to sound out another club as it showed a lack of committment to utd. a sad way to end cw stint as our manager, but we must move on now and hopefully we can sign a couple of players this week. an absolute priority is to offer the players that are out of contract this season new deals as players like jake wright and james constable are very important to us. bigchet

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