CHRIS Wilder said he had never thought about relegation after guiding Northampton Town to safety with a final day win against former employers Oxford United.

The 3-1 win at Sixfields completed the tough task he was set when swapping the U’s for the Cobblers in January.

Many questioned the move to a side six points from safety, but since then he has collected 31 points, while the U’s have picked up just 17 to fall out of promotion contention.

“I’d like to thank the players for their efforts and I’ve never wavered in the belief that they would keep us up,” Wilder said.

“We always kept that belief, the unity in the club from the players to the supporters has been terrific and I’m delighted that (assistant) Alan Knill and I have been able to play a part in that.”

Wilder added: “I have still got a lot of feeling for Oxford.

“You don’t stay that amount of time not to have an affection and affinity for a football club.

“I’m sure they will regroup and go again, but I made a decision and I am delighted with what we have done here.”

Former United winger Chris Hackett has been a part of a rollercoaster season and was full of praise for the way Wilder has revived the club’s fortunes.

He said: “We were pretty down, not quite out but we were in a bad way.

“Chris came in and has got the winning mentality and spirit back in the club and the fans.

“He’s turned it and to get out of the situation we’ve been in has been a mammoth achievement.”