DARRYL Eales says that while he is prepared to be flexible on some criteria drawn up in the search for Oxford United’s new manager, he will not waver from others.

The U’s are in the process of drawing up a shortlist to replace Michael Appleton, but contrary to some reports, are yet to approach anyone for the position.

“The honest answer is no, we haven’t (approached anyone), because we are not sufficiently advanced,” he said.

“We are absolutely doing it through a rigorous process.

“After we have drawn up the shortlist, we are going to have a three-man interview process that will involve me, Dave Jones and Steve Dolton (both directors) and it will be a two-way exchange about what prospective candidates views are of the club and how they think they can take it forward.

“But they have to accept they will take it forward from the base we have already with the existing structure, philosophy and playing style.

“I do not want to change that. I will never seek success on the pitch at the expense of playing attractive football.

“If that causes us to be slightly less successful then so be it. But I think the vast majority of fans would rather they came and watched young developing players seeking to play open attractive football rather than very functional 1-0 football.”