THERE were no real surprises when Oxford United manager Malcolm Shotton announced his retained list following the team's relegation to Division 2.

Six of the eight players whose contracts are due to expire are being released, including French defender Christophe Remy and Dutchman Brian Wilsterman.

Matt Murphy and Simon Weatherstone have been offered renewed contracts, while Nicky Banger will be told if he is to be offered a new deal when he returns from holiday.

The full list of those released is: Remy, Wilsterman, Elliot Jackson, Andrew Rose, Tony Wright and Michael Williams.

For 21-year-old goalkeeper Jackson, the year has turned full circle. Back in January, he was basking in glory with his name on the back of all the national newspapers after some stunning saves against Chelsea's international stars in the FA Cup tie at the Manor.

Less than four months later and he is out of work.

Shotton said: "Things have not worked out at all for Elliot. He's been at Stevenage but even they don't want to take him." The United manager's decision to offload Wright, who only two years ago was considered a young midfielder with huge potential, will surprise some supporters.

But Shotton declared: "He's stood still. He has not progressed in the way anyone wanted, and he would be the first to admit that. I think he's found the jump in standard betwen reserves and first team quite hard to make."

Wright went for a short trial at Swansea, but they are understood to be no longer interested.

"I've said to all those players who have been released that I will do all I can to get them fixed up at another club," Shotton said.

Remy's decision to return home was reported in yesterday's Sportmail and he admitted he was not surprised that he wasn't being offered a new contract. "I understand Malcolm's position because I have been injured too many times this season," he said. "I have not played many games, maybe 15 at the most, and that is not enough.

"I don't know if I would have accepted a new contract had it been offered to me. I was already working with my agent to find somewhere else if my contract was not renewed. I am getting married on June 5 and I will wait and see what happens then."

Shotton was meeting owner Firoz Kassam today to discuss a range of operational matters, including the likely budget he will have to bring in any new signings.

Story date: Wednesday 12 May

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