New Oxford boss' message to League One rivals Portsmouth, Bolton, Petereborough and Barnsley following unveiling
New Oxford boss Des Buckingham believes he's capable of withstanding the pressure of the League One title race
The 38-year-old signed a three-and-a-half-year contract at the Kassam Stadium on Friday after guiding Mumbai City to the Indian Super League title.
He joins the U’s at a time when they sit second in the League One table - a point behind leaders Pompey after 16 games and ahead of third-placed Bolton on goal difference.
The pressure will be on Oxford-born Buckingham to maintain the pace set by predecessor Liam Manning, before his switch to Bristol City, and the two recent wins secured by caretaker boss Craig Short as Oxford’s search for a new boss gathered pace. There’ll also be an expectation to build on the foundations he’s inherited and return to the Championships at their rivals’ expense.
However, while followers of Pompey & Co will hope Buckingham isn’t able to succeed with these specifics, the former U’s, Wellington Phoenix and Melbourne City coach believes he’s more than capable of exceeding expectations.
Speaking after the unveiling on Friday, Buckingham said: ‘I've worked the last three or four years at the City Football Group and there is pressure there. There are expectations at Melbourne and Mumbai that they challenge for silverware every year - the club here is as ambitious as that.
‘I think Liam Manning has set the team up extremely well. It's now about coming in, seeing the good work that has been done and for me to try to add to that to take us forwards.
‘I am going to be myself. I will recognise what has been done and learn very quickly what has changed in the time I have been away. I will use the skillset of the people in the building. ‘We have some wonderful people here, some I have worked with, others I used to teach and some that I have even coached that are playing in the first team.’
Buckingham’s first game in charge of Oxford will be their League One game at Cheltenham on Saturday, November 25.
The U’s and Pompey were scheduled to go head-to-head at the Kassam Stadium today, only for the game to be postponed because of the international break.
A new date for the game is still to be announced.