OXFORD United’s wait for a manager will be the second longest in their history after Sumrith Thanakarnjanasuth’s latest update.

The new U’s owner released a statement yesterday saying a candidate with the “’wow’ factor” is lined up, but Pep Clotet’s successor will not be appointed until next week.

It leaves Derek Fazackerley in caretaker charge for the crucial home game with Peterborough United on Saturday and his tenure will have gone on for at least 56 days – one day longer than Mickey Lewis’s temporary spell in 2014.

The only longer stint of its kind at United was Lewis’s first in charge, when he was at the helm from October 1999 until Denis Smith’s return in February 2000.

Thanakarnjanasuth, known as Tiger, admitted in the statement his takeover last month “added time to a process that had already taken too long”.

But, having met the No 1 candidate last weekend, he said: “I think that provided we can sort out the finer points of the contract, then he would have a real ‘wow’ factor for the fans and send very strong signals that we mean business and are serious about moving this club into a higher division.

“The only issue right now is the timing once again.

“Hopefully it will become clear after the appointment why it has taken so long because it is not an easy situation.

“I do not want to ask fans for their patience again because they have already shown plenty and I thank them for that.

“We believe we will be able to announce an appointment next week.”

The latest announcement did not go down well with many supporters, who have become increasingly concerned at the lack of action while the side slip ever closer to the Sky Bet League One relegation zone.

During the limbo, ten clubs in the Football League have lost their manager and appointed a replacement.

Thanakarnjanasuth has already missed three self-imposed deadlines for an appointment since completing a takeover last month.

At his formal unveiling on February 26, the Thai businessman wanted to finalise a deal “within a day or two”, but subsequent announcements on March 1 and 7 hoped to conclude the process by the following week.

The latest delay only increases the pressure on the new man being a genuine coup for United and suggests at the top target being in a job, which would require some negotiation with their employers.

The bookmakers’ favourite remains Karl Robinson, who last week said he knew nothing about the link.

His Charlton Athletic side were in Sky Bet League One action at Blackpool last night.

Clubs to lose their manager and hire a replacement since Pep Clotet was sacked by United on January 22:

  • Swindon Town
  • Birmingham City
  • Mansfield Town
  • Peterborough United
  • Fleetwood Town
  • Grimsby Town
  • *Cambridge United 
  • Barnsley
  • Bradford City
  • Leeds United

*Interim appointment