WHILE many details which emerged at Oxford United had already been hinted at over the past week, the biggest surprise came with news of Gary Waddock’s exit.

The former Aldershot and Wycombe Wanderers manager was told yesterday morning he was being replaced by Michael Appleton as part of changes at boardroom level.

Incoming chief executive Mark Ashton, whose links with Appleton go back to their playing days at West Bromwich Albion, admitted it was a tough move.

He said: “We’ve made the difficult decision to change Gary Waddock and bring in Michael Appleton.

“That wasn’t easy and I’d reiterate what Ian (Lenagan) said, it has no bearing on Gary’s capabilities at all.”

It brought to an end one of the shortest reigns in Oxford United’s history, which only began on March 22.

Waddock took charge of eight matches, a tenure just surpassing Darren Patterson’s three-game stint in 2006 among the club’s permanent bosses.

The former Republic of Ireland international, who was unavailable for comment yesterday, had little time to stamp his mark on the side, but leaves with the unwanted record of just one win – a 2-0 success at Plymouth Argyle.