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Monday, 2 October, 2000, 15:59 GMT 16:59 UK
Smith quits as Oxford boss
Denis Smith
Denis Smith has stepped down at the Manor Ground
Denis Smith has resigned as manager of Oxford United after the club's miserable start to the Second Division campaign.

Oxford have won only one match this season and protesting fans called for Smith's removal after Saturday's 1-0 defeat against Bristol City at The Manor Ground.

Smith was in his second spell at Oxford, after a successful four year period between 1993 and 1997, and was only re-appointed in February after Malcolm Shotton left, and coach Mickey Lewis had a spell as caretaker manager.

He has also been manager at York City, Sunderland, Bristol City and West Bromwich Albion, but his future had been plunged into uncertainty following a dreadful start to the season which has left Oxford rooted to the bottom of the Second Division..

It leaves Oxford searching for their fourth manager in the space of the year, and was almost inevitable after Smith described himself as "the dragon everyone wants to slay" after the angry reaction to Saturday's setback.

Advisory

Smith has, however, agreed to remain at Oxford United in an advisory capacity.

Smith said: "It is in the best interests of the club for me to step aside. I have a deep feeling for Oxford United and a good relationship with the chairman. I hope to be able to make a contribution to the club away from the direct responsibilities for the playing side."

Chairman Firoz Kassam said: "I regret having to take this step but we must turn round the fortunes of the club as soon as possible.

"I have a great respect for Denis Smith and I genuinely want him to continue to help me, but without responsibility for first team coaching and team selection. I am delighted that Denis has agreed to remain at Oxford United."

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