Craig Bellamy rules out Oxford United as Steve McClaren and Brian McDermott enter the frame

Jack Kitson by Jack Kitson / 28 February 2018, 10:12

Oxford United’s search for a new manager has been hit by more obstacles than the Barkley Marathons, as Craig Bellamy becomes the latest gaffer to rule himself out of the running.

Earlier in the week Oxford’s new owner, Sumith Thankarnjanasuth, revealed that he was hopeful of appointing a new boss in the next couple of days, naming Bellamy as one of four men shortlisted for the job, only for the Welshman to then reveal on Sky Sports (Tuesday night) that he’d withdrawn himself from contention.

This latest set-back means Oxford’s frustrating search for Pep Clotet's replacement is likely to venture into a third month.

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The identity of the other three candidates are unknown, but two new names have today (Wednesday) entered the betting, in Brian McDermott (2/1) and Steve McClaren (6/1), while Alan Stubbs and caretaker boss Derek Fazackerley remain in the frame.

Former Reading and Leeds manager McDermott hasn’t been seen in the dugout since his spell with the Royals came to an end in the summer of 2016. However, the 56-year-old now finds himself in the running to return to management with free-falling Oxford, who are now 15th in League One.

Former England manager McClaren has also been hurled into the mix for the job. The veteran gaffer was most recently working as a coaching consultant out in Israel with Maccabi Tel Aviv, which followed disappointing spells at Derby and Newcastle.

It will now be interesting to see how these links develop in the next few days as Oxford bid to appoint a new boss ahead of their clash with John Sheridan's Fleetwood Town on Saturday.

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