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  • "Waddock’s previous comments (“sweeping changes”) were clearly premature and have made him look rather foolish.

    With so little of the squad changing we are about to find out just how good a coach he really is. Our present squad has been drilled with CW’s cautious ‘percentages’ style of football. Can Waddock change our system? It happens often enough in the higher leagues (e.g. Mark Hughes at Stoke). But can Waddock deliver his vision of entertaining football with L2 players?

    Things will be so much better if Waddock can bring in one or more of the following;
    - a good, young strike partner for Constable, preferably someone with pace
    - a bossing midfielder who can either make a telling pass or run with the ball. This season we’ve had a negligible amount of play in the key area just in front of the opponents back line.
    - failing the above, an attacking wide player(s) who can get behind and put decent balls in
    - a reliable replacement for Hunt, and Newey too if he doesn’t re-sign."
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Waddock: No Oxford United players will be transfer-listed

Waddock: No Oxford United players will be transfer-listed

Gary Waddock will not be placing any under-contract Oxford United players on the transfer list

Gary Waddock will not be placing any under-contract Oxford United players on the transfer list

First published in U's News
Last updated
Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Chief Sports Reporter covering Oxford United. Follow us on twitter: @oxfordmailoufc. Call me on 01865 425458

Oxford United’s players have been given no assurances they will be in the side next season, but Gary Waddock has not transfer-listed anyone under contract.

During a desperately disappointing finish to the campaign, which saw the U’s drop out of the Sky Bet League Two play-off places, the head coach suggested nobody was safe this summer.

Following a home defeat to Accrington Stanley last month, he said: “Big decisions need to be made and they certainly will be.”

Deane Smalley, Sean Rigg and Scott Davies, whose contracts expired at the end of the season, were released last week.

Loan trio Ryan Williams, Nicky Wroe and David Connolly have returned to their parent clubs, while James Constable and Tom Newey are considering contract offers.

For the moment no-one else is likely to leave, with those remaining at the club told they will be given the chance to claim a place in the team during pre-season.

Waddock said: “I’ve spoken to the players who are under contract.

“When they come back in they have to earn the right.”

The U’s boss has been busy chasing targets to improve the squad since the season finished, but is not actively looking to free up more room in the squad by making players available for transfer.

“There’s no point in doing that,” he said.

“There’s a good group of people here.

“The one thing I did say is there’s no guarantee they will be starting in that first team – that goes across the board.

“The ones I’ve moved out are out of contract and they’ve gone.

“Players that don’t figure in the early part of the season will have to make their minds up.”

Waddock also confirmed Jake Wright will remain United captain after the club activated a clause in the defender’s contract which extends his stay for another 12 months.

He said: “We’ve had a number of conversations since I’ve been here and he’s been good within the dressing room.

“His form wants to be better than it has been and he’s had injuries through the course of the season.

“He needs a breather just like all the other players do.”

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