James Beattie 'committed' to Accrington Stanley after Oxford link

James Beattie

James Beattie says he wants to stay at Accrington after the Stanley boss was linked with the vacancy at Oxford.

"There's been no official approach from anybody," said the 35-year-old.

"I've spoken to the boys - they were talking and were a bit worried that I was going somewhere, but I've explained the situation. My commitment is to them and it has been from day one."

The U's have been without a manager since Chris Wilder left to join fellow League Two club Northampton last month.

Mickey Lewis has been in caretaker charge of Oxford, who are third in the division, since Wilder's departure.

Former Southampton, Everton and England striker Beattie played for Accrington last season and became Stanley boss in May - his first managerial role.

They failed to win a league game until 22 October but have recovered to rise to 19th in the table, four points above the relegation zone.

"We're desperate for him to stay and it seems he's desperate to stay himself," added captain Luke Joyce. "If the gaffer's getting linked to places, it can only mean we're doing well."

Accrington's focus is on Friday's visit of second-placed Scunthorpe, with Beattie claiming every team outside the top seven could still be dragged into a relegation battle.

He told BBC Radio Lancashire: "The [teams in the] play-offs are eight points clear of eighth place. Somebody in this league has a bad run at this stage of the season and somebody lower in the table has a good run.

"We've got to concentrate on ourselves. If we pick up enough points between now and the end of the season, we'll be fine.

"I'm hoping for a little bit more than that. The lads keep surprising me, they keep working hard and we're growing."

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