SHAUN Derry will leave Oxford United tomorrow grateful for the rare opportunity to exit via the front door.

A five-hour round-trip from his family home in south London has proved a grind over the last 12 months, prompting the decision announced this week to call it quits as first-team coach.

It also frees the 41-year-old up to pursue vacancies as a No 1 again, following spells in charge of Notts County and Cambridge United.

There is a twinge of regret that the M25 congestion has forced the decision perhaps earlier than he would have liked, but Derry appreciates the chance to part on genuinely amicable terms.

“I’ve not loved the five hours coming to work, but unfortunately that motorway isn’t getting any better,” he said.

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“When I’ve got here I’ve really enjoyed it and that’s the shame really, but I’ve made my decision.

“The year I’ve spent with everyone here has been so enjoyable for me that I’m so pleased.

“It’s not very often you leave a club and everything is pretty rosy. Well, I’m very fortunate that’s the case here.”

Given his contacts in the game, Derry is unlikely to be out of work for long.

And when a manager’s job does come up, the time spent on Karl Robinson’s staff will have an influence on his approach.

He said: “I’ll miss the camaraderie of this club.

“I’ve got to say it’s like no other I’ve been at. The closeness this staff has is brilliant.

“I think what Karl has done is put a lot of trust in his staff and empower them. He delegates really well.

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“To be able to work that way you need the right people and I think looking forward if that opportunity does present itself, it’s key you have the right people around you.

“It’s something I’ll definitely take forward into my next experience.”

And Derry firmly believes the close-knit bonds within the camp prevented it from disintegrating under the pressure of United’s dreadful start to the season which saw them slip bottom of Sky Bet League One.

“Without a doubt,” he said.

“We’re not silly people, we realise we were sat at the bottom of the league for a large amount of time and we saw management teams sat above us getting sacked.

“So we never took it for granted that it couldn’t happen to us.

“But at the same time the levels that Karl and ourselves kept – the intensity on the training pitch, the focus, the work that was delivered from Monday to Friday, that continuation of being professional – was brilliant.

“There are many things I’ll take forward, but the environment and a continuation of our professionalism is what I’m very proud of.”