Chris Wilder signs new Oxford United deal

Chris Wilder

Oxford United manager Chris Wilder has signed a new one-year contract at the League Two club.

Wilder has been at the Kassam Stadium since 2008 and led the side back into the Football League two years later.

However, after going close to a play-off place last season, the club have fallen short again this term.

Wilder's deal ends speculation about his future, but he has been told that 25% of the first-team squad next season must be products of the youth system.

"We are convinced that, in Chris Wilder, Oxford United has a young manager of high promise who is about to reach his potential, having learned some valuable - if painful - lessons over the last two years in the areas of player recruitment and dealing with fans," chairman Ian Lenagan told the club's official website.

"Having lived through some of those painful lessons recently with him, I am clear in my own mind that we at Oxford are about to reap the rewards.

"Chris's achievements at Oxford are already considerable, and should be noted. We are 30 places higher in football's pyramid since he took over as manager four and a half years ago. He ensured that this great club is once again a Football League club and respected by other clubs as a place where things are done properly.

"His work ethic is without question; his understanding of the game from a technical and tactical viewpoint is widely acknowledged in football, as I hear consistently when I speak to other senior people in the sport."

Despite protests from some Oxford fans in the wake of their disappointing campaign, Lenagan still believes Wilder is the right man to lead them to promotion next season.

"The bottom line, though, is that we're about 10 points off where we'd have liked to have been at this stage," he added. "Those are largely points that were dropped in September and October when we were struggling to get a fit team out on the pitch.

"The challenge, then, for next season is to make all the improvements we can to bridge that gap and to be successful.

"Let me be absolutely clear - it will not be straightforward or easy. Promotion remains the clear target, but for us to achieve that we will have to out-perform our salary budget, which is around the seventh highest in this league.

"However, my instincts, beliefs and experience - drawn from both sport and business - tell me that promotion is eminently achievable provided everyone plays their part."

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