LIAM Manning will draw from his previous roles at West Ham United and within the City Football Group as he seeks to rival the biggest Sky Bet League One clubs in the transfer window.

Prior to becoming head coach at Oxford United, Manning had spent time in charge of West Ham’s Under-23s and Belgian side Lommel SK.

With both Lommel and New York City FC – where the 37-year-old was academy director – Manning worked with the City Football Group, the same organisation which owns Manchester City.

READ ALSO: Liam Manning says Oxford United need to sign players in most areas

Manning hopes to use those experiences to entice players to United during his first transfer window with the club.

Asked how the U’s will rival the sides with the biggest budgets in the third tier, Manning told BBC Radio Oxford’s The Dub podcast: “If you look at bar last season, the club’s recent history and where it’s finished, and how it’s competed, you’ve got the recent history to say that’s where we should be and where we want to get to.

“Players are ambitious, there’s not many players starting their careers going ‘I want to be a League One player’ – they have aspirations of playing at the highest level and rightly so.

“For me, the big part is the club, myself and the people around have ambitions of being at that high level.”

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Manning also pointed to United’s recent history of selling players to a higher level, using the examples of Burnley centre back Luke McNally and Brentford midfielder Shandon Baptiste.

McNally left the U’s for the Clarets last summer, with Vincent Kompany’s side promoted to the top flight as Championship title-winners.

The 23-year-old played just four times but joined Coventry City on loan in January, helping the Sky Blues to the Championship play-off final.

Baptiste meanwhile has made 66 appearances for Brentford since making a January deadline day move from United in 2020.

The 25-year-old has appeared 45 times for the Bees in the Premier League.

Manning said: “A big part is challenging the players to come and take the club up there ultimately.

“If you don’t and your journey goes quicker than the club, then the club has shown in recent years that it’s a platform for players to move to a higher level.

“If you look at Luke McNally and Shandon Baptiste, people that have moved on.

“Number one has to be get there with the club, and secondly a by-product of that is if the club doesn’t go at the same speed, then we’ll support you and your journey in the future.

“The next big thing is in terms of how we work and the culture that we want is that you’ll get treated properly, which sounds mad but it’s not always the case.

“I’ve been fortunate to work at some high-level clubs and a high-level organisation, so I’ve taken bits to really enhance my way of working and my philosophy.

“I’ve got some terrific staff around me, especially Chris Hogg, who’s been with me for a few years now.

“I won’t coach you like a League One player, I’ll coach you like a Premier League player.

“I’ll coach the team to play above the level of where we’re at.

“It’s about identifying the players that are signing up for where we want to go and what we want to do.”

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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.