IAN Lenagan enjoyed his two-year spell as chairman of Oxford United, but admitted it was tough.
After yesterday handing over the day-to-day running of the club to Darryl Eales and Mark Ashton, the U’s joint-owner said there had been plenty of good times during his tenure.
But United’s failure to reach the play-offs last season was a huge low, and Lenagan conceded a delay in appointing a permanent successor to Chris Wilder may have contributed to their downfall.
However, the 68-year-old does not regret his decision to appoint Mickey Lewis as caretaker manager.
“It has taken its strain, of course it has,” he said.
“But there are the compensations because it has been a lot of fun.
“It was not a lot of fun at the end of last season, but we’ve had some good times.
“I have particularly enjoyed the young players coming through.
“Whether with Gary Waddock or now Michael Appleton, there is a belief that squad development is the future for Oxford United and I am very proud that I have forced that through over the last two years. That will continue.”
He added: “We are talking here almost as if I’m going, but I’m certainly not.
“The fact I am now on the Football League and FA board was one of the key factors in now needing a new chairman and chief executive and for me to focus on the stadium bid.”
When Wilder quit United at the end of January, the side looked nailed on for a top-seven finish, with the possibility of automatic promotion.
However, a poor run of form saw Lewis replaced by Gary Waddock.
But his arrival did little to halt the slide as United dropped down the league to finish eighth.
“Whether with Mickey Lewis or a replacement manager I thought we would get to the play-offs,” Lenagan said. “So did almost everybody else.
“Do I take responsibility for a two or three-week delay? Yes, but that’s all.
“I would have made the decision to appoint Mickey Lewis as an interim manager again, but it didn’t work out. That’s life.
“Sometimes you fail and I don’t mind occasionally failing. You can’t get it 100 per cent right.
“But I have to say that there has been nobody prepared to put in as much time or money as me and my two sons have.
“We are appreciated by the vast majority of Oxford United fans.”
- Related stories
- It's all change at Oxford United as Eales, Ashton and Appleton come in and Waddock is sacked
- Disappointed rivals now backing United for the future
- New United chairman Eales says to the fans: My door is open
- Chief exec Ashton's priority is improving United's squad
Latest United news:
11:20am Tuesday 31st March 2015
MAX Crocombe has been named on the bench for New Zealand's international friendly against the Korea Republic in Seoul today.
9:00am Tuesday 31st March 2015
Patrick Hoban thanked boss Michael Appleton and his Oxford United teammates for keeping faith in him after the longest scoring drought of his career came to an end.
8:00am Tuesday 31st March 2015
North Leigh manager Mark Gee will have just 12 players to choose from for tonight’s Oxfordshire Senior Cup semi-final against Oxford United at Banbury’s Spencer Stadium (7.45).
11:14pm Tuesday 31st March 2015
North Leigh twice came from behind to beat Oxford United 3-2 to reach the Oxfordshire Senior Cup final.
12:20pm Monday 30th March 2015
Michael Appleton thanked Oxford United’s supporters for the role they played in a critically-important 2-1 victory against Carlisle United.
12:10pm Monday 30th March 2015
WATCH the key moments from Oxford United's 2-1 victory against Carlisle United at the Kassam Stadium.
9:20am Monday 30th March 2015
Kyle Vassell was thrilled to become an instant hero for Oxford United after bagging a hugely important winner just five minutes into his debut.
9:00am Monday 30th March 2015
Patrick Hoban saluted Oxford United’s response as they came from behind to beat Carlisle United 2-1 and take a big step towards staying up.
6:14pm Saturday 28th March 2015