NORTH Leigh will be looking to announce the manager to replace former Oxford United winger Chris Allen next week, the club’s chairwoman has told the Oxford Mail.

Allen resigned as Millers boss on Monday evening, after an unsuccessful attempt at keeping the club in Southern League Premier South.

The 50-year-old was appointed manager of the Eynsham Park outfit in November as the club struggled to adapt to their first season in the seventh tier of English football, after Eddie Odhiambo had led them to a historic promotion.

READ AGAIN: Chris Allen resigns as North Leigh manager weeks after relegation

Despite hopes of an instant return to Step 3, Allen stepped down this week.

However, North Leigh chairwoman Sharon Claridge has revealed that the club is looking to unveil its new manager next week.

She told this newspaper: “We’ll be announcing a new manager next week – the pull of the club has come to play straight away.

“We must be doing something right to be where we are in this position.

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“It’s a good appointment for the club and someone the club knows, and who the players know as well.

“I think it’ll be a good appointment and I just want the players to enjoy the season.

“We had the pressure last season of playing at Step 3, and we want to get back to the fans and players enjoying their football.”

Discussing the importance of acting swiftly after Allen’s resignation, Claridge said: “You’ve got pre-season coming up and that’s where you can lose your season and then be on the back foot all year, so it was important to fill the position very quickly.

“This is when the hard work starts and the season is made – it’s a very important time of year.”

Claridge told this newspaper last month that she was targeting the Southern League Central Division title in the forthcoming campaign.

On her hopes after Allen’s resignation, she said: “Going into any season, any club wants to fight at the top or in the play-offs, but I also want the players and fans to enjoy their football, and enjoy the season.

“You have to be flexible and see how the season starts, and at around Christmas time, you’ll know whereabouts you’re going to finish.”

Quizzed on Allen’s exit, Claridge said: “I’m very disappointed that he had to resign but we have to move on from that now and restructure the club.

“I wish Chris all the best moving on to his next venture and I’m pretty sure that he’ll do well wherever he goes.

“He did a great job here and we almost made it, but it wasn’t quite enough.

“Managers come and go, regardless of who they are.

“Things change all the time and unfortunately that’s football.

“I hope supporters would understand that the club is still here.

“It’s still the same club that fans have been supporting every season.”

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About the author

To sign up to Liam’s latest Oxford United newsletter for free, click here:

Formerly the politics reporter for the Oxford Mail, Liam now covers all things Oxford United.

Liam attends the U’s home and away, as well as covering other big sports stories across the county.

His Oxford United newsletter is released every Saturday morning at 6am.