Chris Wilder: Oxford United say no Coventry City approach

Chris Wilder

Oxford United chairman Ian Lenagan says there has been no approach from Coventry City for manager Chris Wilder.

Wilder has been installed as the bookmakers' favourite for the vacant managerial position at the Ricoh Arena.

But although Lenagan admits the Coventry job would be an attractive one, he is hopeful Wilder would stay.

"There has been no approach," Lenagan told BBC Radio Oxford. "But Coventry are a good club and let's be honest they could approach us and Chris."

Wilder has guided Oxford United back into the Football League and his side have made a fine start to the new season after narrowly missing out on the League Two play-offs last term.

His style of football has also been gaining admirers and Lenagan admits the club has been completely transformed under his guidance.

"Chris has completely changed the landscape of the club," he said.

"He has improved the quality of the football and every year that has gone by Chris has improved the team. The squad he has built is excellent.

"We've been very clear in what our objectives our and we feel we are a Championship club in the making.

"There is no reason why, with the team Chris has built, that we should not start that process by winning promotion to League One next."

But Wilder's success has not gone unnoticed with Coventry the latest club linked with a move for the former Sheffield United defender.

Lenagan says though the club will do everything in their power to keep him at the Kassam Stadium, but admitted Wilder could be tempted by the move.

"We have high regard for Chris and we would want him to stay and will do everything possible to persuade him stay," added Lenagan.

"But at the same time you've got to recognise that big clubs are attractive and if it were Manchester United we would say 'yes' and would not stop him.

"Coventry are somewhere along the line from League Two towards that level and they have been at the highest level.

"It's not a job he would ignore but, at the same time, we would try and persuade him that Oxford had a future and a very strong one."

Wilder himself says he is not distracted by reports linking him to Coventry and is focussed on the job he has at Oxford.

His side take on rivals Swindon in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy and Wilder says that is his primary concern.

"You've got to get on with it and until Mr Lenagan calls me in the office speaks to me, my work is here," Wilder told BBC Radio Oxford.

"We've got a big game on Wednesday and I do understand how important and crucial that game is to everyone at this football club. And that will always be my sole aim.

"We're in a decent place. It's going okay and I fully expect to be preparing the team on Wednesday until I'm told otherwise."

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