Pep Clotet: Oxford United sack manager

Former Oxford United manager Pep Clotet
Pep Clotet led Oxford to 12 wins, 11 draws and 13 defeats in his time in charge

League One club Oxford United have sacked manager Pep Clotet.

The 40-year-old Spaniard, who took over in July, was dismissed following Oxford's 2-1 loss at home to League One's bottom side Bury on Saturday.

The U's have failed to win nine of their past 13 league games, including a 7-0 loss at home to Wigan in December.

"The board has taken the decision after much consideration, and in the best interests of Oxford United FC," a statement read on the club website.

"Pep has worked extremely hard throughout his time at Oxford. The board thanks him for his efforts and wishes him every success for the future."

Clotet led Oxford to the quarter-finals of the Checkatrade Trophy and has left them 10th in League One, eight points behind the play-off places.

His assistant Derek Fazackerley has been put in charge of first-team affairs until a successor is appointed.

Having been a coach alongside Garry Monk at Swansea City and Leeds United, Clotet was given his first managerial role in England when he succeeded Michael Appleton as Oxford boss.

He had previously spent short stints as manager of Malaga and Espanyol's reserve teams in the third tier of Spanish football and a spell in charge of Swedish side Halmstads.

He started his reign at Oxford with two League One wins, while three successive league victories at the end of September and start of October saw the club move into the play-off places.

However, they won just twice more in the league in 2017 as the U's fell back into mid-table and, after starting 2018 with wins over MK Dons and Blackpool, Clotet's time in charge ended with defeats by Walsall and Bury.

Analysis

Jerome Sale, BBC Radio Oxford sports editor

United are eight points off the play-off places in League One and eight points above the relegation zone. There doesn't seem to be much threat of them going up or down this season.

Oxford will now have a full search for Clotet's successor and this next appointment can now be a long-term one, rather than one that could be considered to be fire-fighting.

It could take some time, but in some respects they have that now in abundance without another league game until 3 February.

There is, however, the Checkatrade Trophy quarter-final at Stamford Bridge against Chelsea Under-21s - which Fazackerley will prepare the first team for.

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