Oxford United manager Liam Manning is keen on more transfer activity into the building at the Kassam despite a number of new signings already joining the U’s, according to comments in the Oxford Mail.
Five signings have already confirmed that they will be wearing Oxford yellow next season – the major statement signing coming in the form of Ruben Rodrigues, who was rumoured with the likes of Derby County before making the switch to Oxfordshire from Notts County.
Alongside signing the highly coveted former Notts County man, the U’s have also added Jordan Thorniley, Josh McEachran, Fin Stevens and James Beadle to their ranks.
Still, Liam Manning is insistent that more signings will be forthcoming to bolster his U’s side.
Dark Horses Next Season?
These new faces in through the door at The Kassam could well make Liam Manning’s men dark horses for next season in terms of a promotion push.
Despite an obvious poor second season in the dug-out at MK Dons – Manning fighting against relegation in his second campaign in charge before being sacked – he did manage to secure an unbelievable 3rd spot for the Dons the season prior.
Although his previous side then fell short in the playoffs, Manning does have the nous to galvanise teams to a playoff position.
The feel good factor has seemingly returned to Oxford United, and with a number of positive signings adding strength in numbers, Oxford could well push on and surprise a few teams in the third tier next campaign after keeping their heads above water last time out.
Transfer Dealing At The Kassam
There’s been plenty of transfer rumours circulating at The Kassam, with some even coming off.
One of those was an actual departure from Oxford United in the form of Erion Zabeli, the 18-year-old signing a contract with Brentford’s B Team after impressing in the U’s youth set-up.
Some transfer rumours haven’t quite paid off in terms of the rumoured player actually joining, the U’s beaten to the signature of their ex winger Gavin Whyte to Portsmouth in the end.
Tyler Burey remains one that circulates, the young Millwall midfielder top on the priority list allegedly for Liam Manning.
It will be intriguing to see who is next to sign for the U’s, Liam Manning adamant that more players will join.
What Has Been Said?
Speaking with the Oxford Mail, Liam Manning spoke on the hard work still needing to be done to add even more reinforcements to his squad ahead of next season.
He said: “It’s a massive bonus reporting back with new faces that we’ve added to the group.”
“It allows you to have a good six-week block with them before the first league game, and there are obviously advantages to accelerating relationships, getting tactical principles in and building the culture that we want.”
“I’ve been really pleased with a lot of the work that we’ve been able to do so far, we’ve still got quite a bit to do, which we’ll continue to push really hard, to try and get done.”
The U’s boss even admitted that he’s had very little time off to recuperate, focussing instead on strengthening his team over the summer.
He said: “The perception is that the season’s finished and everyone’s on a break and on holiday.”
“Of course, we take a bit of a break and make the most of the opportunity to go overseas.”
“I was in for a few days after the Accrington game and then I went to Turkey for a week, but you don’t stop.”
“The work that we needed to do on the squad and other bits behind the scenes, there was a lot of work that needed doing and that still continues.”
Oxford United fans will be pleased to hear that Liam Manning hasn’t downed his tools and settled with what he’s got, the U’s boss sounds determined to make this U’s squad for next season promotion challengers.
After the sour end of Karl Robinson’s tenure at The Kassam, supporters of the U’s will just be ecstatic that talk has moved away from potential relegation back to the playoff hunt.
Oxford United could well be a dark horse for next campaign – and with one or two more reinforcements – could well be knocking on the door of the Championship sooner rather than later.