MICKEY Lewis says Oxford United’s stance over their search for a new manager is a compliment to him and the squad.

It is five weeks since Chris Wilder’s exit and tomorrow’s game at Rochdale will be the eighth game of Lewis’s spell as caretaker manager, which has seen just one defeat.

U’s chairman Ian Lenagan has been tight-lipped over the recruitment process since telling the Oxford Mail earlier this month he would not rush to make an appointment.

Lewis has been in regular contact with Lenagan, even with the U’s owner spending time in Australia while his other club, Wigan Warriors, played in the World Club Challenge.

The caretaker does not know how long his reign will last, but regards the board’s approach as a backing for the current set-up.

He said: “It is a compliment and we just have to keep getting results.

“The chairman has been really supportive, even though he’s been in Australia I spoke to him. There’s no problems there at all.”

Lewis is the odds-on favourite to be given the job full-time.

While the 49-year-old hinted last month he could be interested in succeeding Wilder, the former U’s midfielder has never publicly put himself forward.

That remains his position, with the priority on keeping the side in contention near the top of the Sky Bet League Two table by focusing solely on the next game.

He said: “It’s such an important time for the club, everyone’s focus is on trying to get promotion.

“We don’t get a lot of time to chat about anything else really.”