GARY Waddock admits guiding
to finish in the play-offs is a tougher task than he imagined when taking over less than a fortnight ago.
The head coach describes the next month as a “wonderful opportunity”, but after defeats in his opening two games in charge he is well aware of the need to get some results fast.
United’s ever-present status in Sky Bet League Two’s top seven this season is severely under threat, with just a superior goals scored record keeping in-form York City at bay.
Ahead of his first home game in charge, against Fleetwood Town on Saturday, Waddock took time to sit down and answer questions sent in by Oxford M
The U’s chief was open and honest, none more so than when answering whether it was a tougher job than when he was appointed.
He said: “Yes, because now I’ve seen the players, the confidence, the games – you have to take all of that into account as well.
“We’ve also had some bad luck with injuries and the Dagenham goal sums it up.”
He added: “You look at the league table and the club were in a very good position.
“You look at the fixtures we’ve got to go into, and they are very tough.
“If you look at the fixtures we’ve come out of, we’ve not got many points and expectation is great, because the club had a fantastic start to the season and got into the automatic positions.
“But this is a wonderful opportunity, if we can turn the results around very quickly.”
Waddock has won promotion in his previous managerial jobs, at Aldershot Town and Wycombe Wanderers.
The success was part of the reason United decided to appoint the former QPR midfielder.
While all three clubs played at the same level last season, before Aldershot’s relegation, Waddock has already noticed a clear difference between the U’s and his previous employers.
He said: “The expectations are greater.
“The goal is the same as it was at Aldershot and Wycombe, but Oxford is a very big club and we need to achieve.
“That means promotion, and the longer-term goal is there for everybody to see.”
So do the demands of the club make this a more difficult job?
“No, because you put pressure on yourself, if you want to call it pressure,” Waddock said.
“If you want to achieve in any job, you put that extra pressure and workload on yourself and I’m no different.
“I will push and do the best I can.”