OXFORD United’s players believe having some clarity on the vacant manager’s role is now crucial.

Despite a much-improved display on Saturday, the U’s suffered a fifth defeat in six games when Sonny Bradley’s header in first-half stoppage-time gave Plymouth Argyle a 1-0 victory at the Kassam Stadium on Saturday.

Pep Clotet was sacked as boss four weeks ago today, but a miserable run since his departure sees United now just five points clear of the Sky Bet League One relegation zone.

Rumours continue to circulate over his successor, with Craig Bellamy a red-hot favourite at 1-4 with bookmakers.

United’s players are in the dark about the situation and midfielder Ryan Ledson thinks knowing whether caretaker manager Derek Fazackerley will remain in the role or if an external candidate is to come in will provide some much-needed stability.

“Whether Faz stays on until the end of the season or we get a new manager, it sort of needs to happen and we need to know what’s going on,” the midfielder said.

“We haven’t been on the best run of form, but we can’t sit here and sulk about it. We’ve got to get on with it and work even harder.”

Former Rotherham United boss Alan Stubbs and Liverpool academy coach Michael Beale are the other front-runners with bookies, while David Unsworth was also strongly linked with the job.

Ledson admits he has been keeping an eye on the names associated with the role.

The 20-year-old said: “Obviously I’ve been looking at whose linked with the job, you’d be stupid not to say you don’t know.

“I know a few of the managers and I don’t know a few of the others, but we’ll see who gets it and we’ll crack on from there.

“The ones that I know of are exciting.

“Obviously, the last manager we had I hadn’t heard of and that didn’t seem to go very well.

“But we’ll get a new manager in, maybe it will be Faz, and we’ll play for them and we’ll kick on.”

Brazilian left back Ricardinho, echoed his teammate’s thoughts.

“I’ve no idea what is going on, or what they’re going to do,” he said.

“Our job is to do our best to try to win games and respect the Oxford fans, ourselves, and work hard.

“We have to be prepared for every situation and it’s quite complicated right now.”