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Last Updated: Sunday, 7 May 2006, 10:04 GMT 11:04 UK
Smith positive despite relegation
Oxford manager Jim Smith
Smith returned to Oxford on 22 March
Oxford United boss Jim Smith is upbeat about the future despite his side's relegation to the Conference after their 3-2 defeat by Leyton Orient.

He said: "I am devastated we have gone down but at the same time I am positive about what we're going to do next year.

"We are not going to let our plan slip away just because we have gone down - we are going to stick to it."

Smith, who is also a director on United's board, confirmed he will stay on at the club next season.

'The Bald Eagle' took Oxford into the top flight in his previous spell as manager in the 1980s but admits time was against him as he tried to keep them in the Football League.

Smith returned when Nick Merry bought the club off Firoz Kassam on 22 March.

"At the time I came in I thought we could stay up. I thought we would need 10 points, which was right - but we didn't get them," Smith explained.

"You can look at what we could have done but in terms of trying to change the team, we came in one day before transfer deadline day and it was impossible.

"Everything we did was a gamble - and unfortunately the gamble didn't come off."

SEE ALSO
Oxford United 2-3 Leyton Orient
06 May 06 |  League Two


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