New Oxford United head coach Des Buckingham expects incomings at Oxford United in the next couple of weeks, as reported by the Oxford Mail.
Buckingham left Mumbai City to grasp the reigns at his former club, but he arrived with the backroom staff looking depleted. When former boss Liam Manning left for Bristol City, he took assistant Chris Hogg and first-team coach analyst James Krause with him.
Buckingham arrived alone, bringing nobody with him, and that means appointments will be made in the next few weeks to fill the gaps.
“When you come in, you have to assess and see what’s here. We have two members of staff that left that aren’t there,” said the former Melbourne City boss.
“We’re speaking and going through a process to try and look at not just the people, but the skillset they will bring, to add to the quality we have here.
“We’re working through that at the minute, and we’re hopeful maybe in the next week or so, we’ll be able to have someone in those spaces.”
Buckingham oversaw his first game in charge at the weekend, watching on as the Us went down 2-0 to strugglers Cheltenham Town. It was their first defeat in six fixtures and only the second time they’ve failed to score in a League One fixture since the season’s opening day.
Whilst that was a blow on the field, the club has also suffered a blow off it – defender Greg Leigh has been ruled out for ‘a couple of weeks’ after picking up an injury on international duty with Jamaica.
“He’ll be out for at least a couple of weeks, so he’ll be a loss to us,” said Buckingham.
“We’ve got players who can come in and fill in that space. Sam’s (Long) maybe two or three weeks away, but we’ve got players that’ll have to step in and perform to make sure we continue doing what we want.”
Oxford slipped out of the top three following the defeat but didn’t lose ground on leaders Portsmouth, who were beaten and overtaken by Bolton at the top of the table. The Trotters are the visitors to the Kassam this evening, in a game many will see as a barometer of their automatic promotion aspirations.
A new head coach coming in almost always means a degree of change, and Des Buckingham is coming into a squad that really didn’t need it. Liam Manning’s departure will be tough to get past, but Buckingham is a highly-respected coach with a lot of positive attributes. Getting some key figures in behind the scenes will help him get through the next couple of months smoothly.
It might take him a week or two to get settled and understand the club’s position on and off the field, but they’re in a great place to kick on once that happens.
Oxford United are still a huge force in this division, and a couple of minor setbacks won’t change that. Don’t be surprised if they take something from the Bolton clash this evening.