9:00am Thursday 15th May 2014
By David Pritchard
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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