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Page last updated at 10:08 GMT, Thursday, 7 May 2009 11:08 UK

U's reject Burton move for Wilder

Chris Wilder
Wilder almost guided Oxford to an unlikely place in the play-offs

Oxford United have turned down an approach from Burton Albion to speak to manager Chris Wilder.

The Brewers are searching for a new manager after announcing that Roy McFarland is leaving the job he took on a temporary basis in January.

Chairman Ben Robinson told BBC Radio Derby: "We're drawing up a list and wanted to talk to Chris. We approached Oxford but they denied us permission."

Wilder has committed his future to the U's in the wake of Burton's interest.

He told the United website: "I appreciate the interest shown in me and what we have done here at Oxford, especially from such a progressive club as Burton for what is a very sought-after position.

"I spoke to the chairman here and my ambition has always been, and remains, to play a part in returning Oxford United to the Football League."

He took over at Oxford in December and lost just three league games.

He continued: "We haven't got anyone who's top of the list but he's somebody we wanted to speak to and include on our shortlist.

Hopefully within the next week to 10 days, we'll make an appointment. It's important the players get signed up and the manager builds a strong squad

Burton chairman Ben Robinson

"Chris was manager of Halifax Town for a number of years, a club that had a lot of problems, and everyone admired the way he handled those problems. He stood by the club and he was loyal to them.

"We spoke to the Oxford chairman Kelvin [Thomas] and he came back to me a few hours later and said 'I'm very sorry, Ben, but we're refusing you permission to speak to our manager'.

"We'll continue to consider the applicants. We've had a lot of interest - probably 25 to 30 applicants. Many of them have managed at a much higher level than League Two.

"I don't want to talk about who we've met or spoken to - I think it would be unfair to do that.

"Hopefully within the next week to 10 days, we'll be able to make an appointment. It's important that the players get signed up and the manager builds a strong squad capable of competing in League Two."

McFarland helped the Brewers secure promotion to the Football League on the final day of the season.


But the club were 19 points clear at one stage and stumbled over the line and McFarland has ruled himself out of the running for the job on a permanent basis.

Former Halifax boss and Bury assistant Wilder took over as Oxford manager when the club were struggling in the bottom half in December and almost took them to the play-offs.

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see also
Wilder pledges to stay with U's
07 May 09 |  Oxford Utd
Wilder sorry for 'poxy' comments
29 Apr 09 |  Oxford Utd
McFarland wants to stay at Burton
27 Apr 09 |  Burton
Torquay 2-1 Burton
26 Apr 09 |  Non League
Burton 0-1 Oxford Utd
17 Apr 09 |  Non League
Wilder hailed by Oxford chairman
02 Apr 09 |  Oxford Utd
Wilder is new Oxford United boss
21 Dec 08 |  Oxford Utd

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