Chris Wilder: Oxford United boss focused on challenge

Chris Wilder

Oxford manager Chris Wilder insists he is still fully committed to his job at the Kassam Stadium despite attending an interview at Portsmouth last week.

Wilder missed out on the job at Fratton Park to Richie Barker, but says he owed it to his family to speak to Pompey.

The Oxford boss has six months left on a one-year contract before it expires.

"I have to look after myself and my family and people will respect that as a rational decision to go and speak to them," Wilder told BBC Oxford.

The 46-year-old was one of seven people interviewed for the job, including Exeter City manager Paul Tisdale.

"The reason I went to speak to Portsmouth was I've got six months left of a 12-month contract," he continued. "I'm halfway through it and I've got a family, pure and simple. I've turned down opportunities to talk to other clubs.

"I'm loyal as is seen by being the third-longest-serving manager in English football. That goes unnoticed. We're doing well and I'll keep working and the powers that be will deal with that when they have to and if they want to.

"I was never guaranteed to be offered it and from my point of view it was never 100% guaranteed that I would accept it."

Oxford currently top League Two and their excellent start to the campaign has led to further speculation about Wilder's future.

However, he says he remains focused on helping the club continue their fine season - which included a second-round FA Cup victory over Wrexham on Monday.

"Myself and Paul Tisdale went down to speak [to Portsmouth] and I've come back and I've had to work really hard over the past two or three weeks because of the games we've had - and we've come through it," he explained.

"I don't intentionally put myself out there, I just go about doing my job and people recognise the job we have done at the club. People in football know what we do and where we are at and it's much better for players and staff when you are winning. I can't stop that [speculation]."

Meanwhile, Wilder says the club are close to extending the loan stay of Fulham winger Ryan Williams until the end of the season.

Williams, 20, has made 17 appearances and was due to return to his parent club in January.

Top Stories