Waddock puts all contract talks on hold

Bicester Advertiser: James Constable, pictured in action at Southend on Monday, is one of a number of Oxford United players out of contract this summer James Constable, pictured in action at Southend on Monday, is one of a number of Oxford United players out of contract this summer

All contract decisions at Oxford United will be made after the end of the season as Gary Waddock takes time to assess the quality in the squad.

The new head coach is less than a week into his tenure at the club and does not intend to agree any deals until after he has fully scrutinised the individuals on the books.

There are 13 players in the first and development team squads whose deals expire this summer.

It equates to half United’s senior professionals, although the club have the option of activating an additional 12 months on several, including skipper Jake Wright, winger Sean Rigg, plus youngsters Sam Long, David Lynn and Josh Shama.

Waddock stated everyone had a clean slate when he took over last weekend, meaning they all have just over a month to stake their claim.

He said: “They’ll have to wait until the end of the campaign.

“I’ll have to see how they perform, on the training ground and in games, before I make a decision on them.

“It’s as simple as that. I’m not going to come in here and offer players contracts when I’ve not seen them play.

“I watched them against Southend and Hartlepool, but I can’t make a judgement on players that way.

“I know the group and I know the players, but they have to earn that contract.”

It allows Waddock time to gauge who he wants to keep as the process of building a squad in his image begins heading into next season.

Goalkeeper Ryan Clarke, who penned a new two-year deal in January, is the only senior player whose future has been finalised.

Last month, youth team prospect Josh Ashby agreed a long-term contract, but any other talks which are in progress will be shelved for the time being.

U’s chairman Ian Lenagan has said discussions with James Constable, Josh Ruffels and Tom Newey have taken place recently.

But Waddock made it clear they would be in the same boat as everyone else.

He said: “They will be on hold until I make a final decision.”

  • Oxford United head coach Gary Waddock has agreed to answer your questions.

The U’s boss, right, will sit down with the Oxford Mail next week and respond to your queries.

If you have a question, email sportsdesk@oxfordmail.co.uk by 7pm on Sunday evening and we will pass on a selection to Waddock – and print his answers in a two-page United special.

Comments (11)

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11:11am Fri 28 Mar 14

87oufc says...

I'd keep Whingy, Clarkey and sign Williams and Connolly. In fact with Portsmouth now so close to going down I think we'd have a great chance of signing Connolly. The others have been terrible for months with far too many individual errors.
I'd keep Whingy, Clarkey and sign Williams and Connolly. In fact with Portsmouth now so close to going down I think we'd have a great chance of signing Connolly. The others have been terrible for months with far too many individual errors. 87oufc
  • Score: 6

11:36am Fri 28 Mar 14

howardl says...

After last Mondays game it seems most don't want a contract.
After last Mondays game it seems most don't want a contract. howardl
  • Score: 6

12:23pm Fri 28 Mar 14

train passenger says...

Another manager who believes that as long as you 'play hard' that will make the club perform better. Unfortunately far too many English managers have that attitude and it just doesn't seem to do the job (Sherwood at Spurs being an example). The idea that players would deliberately not want to play well for their teams is a bit ludicrous to start with I think. Most of the time if they appear not to play hard it is because they are being asked to perform tasks they are not capable of by the manager. What do you intend to do to make the team play better (not harder) Gary?
Another manager who believes that as long as you 'play hard' that will make the club perform better. Unfortunately far too many English managers have that attitude and it just doesn't seem to do the job (Sherwood at Spurs being an example). The idea that players would deliberately not want to play well for their teams is a bit ludicrous to start with I think. Most of the time if they appear not to play hard it is because they are being asked to perform tasks they are not capable of by the manager. What do you intend to do to make the team play better (not harder) Gary? train passenger
  • Score: -2

1:10pm Fri 28 Mar 14

Doctor69 says...

Sounds like a good idea to me. The players need to impress the new boss, not just rely on their Senior First Team status to guarantee games and / or a new deal.

Clear some of the current deadwood and build for the future.
Sounds like a good idea to me. The players need to impress the new boss, not just rely on their Senior First Team status to guarantee games and / or a new deal. Clear some of the current deadwood and build for the future. Doctor69
  • Score: 6

2:36pm Fri 28 Mar 14

Richard Wickson says...

train passenger wrote:
Another manager who believes that as long as you 'play hard' that will make the club perform better. Unfortunately far too many English managers have that attitude and it just doesn't seem to do the job (Sherwood at Spurs being an example). The idea that players would deliberately not want to play well for their teams is a bit ludicrous to start with I think. Most of the time if they appear not to play hard it is because they are being asked to perform tasks they are not capable of by the manager. What do you intend to do to make the team play better (not harder) Gary?
Why oh why do so many just give an automatic thumbs down to posts like this one. You make a very good point. I always remember Kevin Keegan beating his chest and urging his England team to play with pride and passion. The teams that achieve the most and score the most goals are the most skilful teams, whilst you can improve a players techical ability and technique you can't coach in skill where none is in the player. Under Wilder we were a reasonable defensive unit albeit conceding soft goals at set pieces far to often and you can always get a team to be stronger defensively but if skill is missing in midfield or attack then only way to get it is bring in skilfull players.
[quote][p][bold]train passenger[/bold] wrote: Another manager who believes that as long as you 'play hard' that will make the club perform better. Unfortunately far too many English managers have that attitude and it just doesn't seem to do the job (Sherwood at Spurs being an example). The idea that players would deliberately not want to play well for their teams is a bit ludicrous to start with I think. Most of the time if they appear not to play hard it is because they are being asked to perform tasks they are not capable of by the manager. What do you intend to do to make the team play better (not harder) Gary?[/p][/quote]Why oh why do so many just give an automatic thumbs down to posts like this one. You make a very good point. I always remember Kevin Keegan beating his chest and urging his England team to play with pride and passion. The teams that achieve the most and score the most goals are the most skilful teams, whilst you can improve a players techical ability and technique you can't coach in skill where none is in the player. Under Wilder we were a reasonable defensive unit albeit conceding soft goals at set pieces far to often and you can always get a team to be stronger defensively but if skill is missing in midfield or attack then only way to get it is bring in skilfull players. Richard Wickson
  • Score: 3

2:40pm Fri 28 Mar 14

Richard Wickson says...

I had meant to add that I agree that no new contracts should be negotiated or signed until Waddock has had time to assess the capabilities of the squad. He's the coach, he succeeds or fails on his players achievements so it's right and proper he keeps who he wants. Whether he assesses them on the right merits only time will tell!
I had meant to add that I agree that no new contracts should be negotiated or signed until Waddock has had time to assess the capabilities of the squad. He's the coach, he succeeds or fails on his players achievements so it's right and proper he keeps who he wants. Whether he assesses them on the right merits only time will tell! Richard Wickson
  • Score: 4

4:20pm Fri 28 Mar 14

SteveinSC says...

87oufc wrote:
I'd keep Whingy, Clarkey and sign Williams and Connolly. In fact with Portsmouth now so close to going down I think we'd have a great chance of signing Connolly. The others have been terrible for months with far too many individual errors.
I thought Mullins was on a 3 year contract. I'd certainly keep him anyway. Pity he will be unable to show his credentials to Waddock due to injury
[quote][p][bold]87oufc[/bold] wrote: I'd keep Whingy, Clarkey and sign Williams and Connolly. In fact with Portsmouth now so close to going down I think we'd have a great chance of signing Connolly. The others have been terrible for months with far too many individual errors.[/p][/quote]I thought Mullins was on a 3 year contract. I'd certainly keep him anyway. Pity he will be unable to show his credentials to Waddock due to injury SteveinSC
  • Score: 1

5:37pm Fri 28 Mar 14

87oufc says...

SteveinSC wrote:
87oufc wrote:
I'd keep Whingy, Clarkey and sign Williams and Connolly. In fact with Portsmouth now so close to going down I think we'd have a great chance of signing Connolly. The others have been terrible for months with far too many individual errors.
I thought Mullins was on a 3 year contract. I'd certainly keep him anyway. Pity he will be unable to show his credentials to Waddock due to injury
I am unsure of the contract situation regarding our players as it stands other than Clarke since do contracts mean anything these days? It more often than not is not a means of indefinitely keeping a player at a club.
[quote][p][bold]SteveinSC[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]87oufc[/bold] wrote: I'd keep Whingy, Clarkey and sign Williams and Connolly. In fact with Portsmouth now so close to going down I think we'd have a great chance of signing Connolly. The others have been terrible for months with far too many individual errors.[/p][/quote]I thought Mullins was on a 3 year contract. I'd certainly keep him anyway. Pity he will be unable to show his credentials to Waddock due to injury[/p][/quote]I am unsure of the contract situation regarding our players as it stands other than Clarke since do contracts mean anything these days? It more often than not is not a means of indefinitely keeping a player at a club. 87oufc
  • Score: -1

6:18pm Fri 28 Mar 14

learned says...

Yes to sign Williams if Fulham release him and Connolly could still do a job.
I fear the worst for James Constable though. Hunt Rose Rigg and Potter, who has looked poor recently can all go.....
And please please Mr Waddock ( I'm being a creep !!) do NOT extend Smalley's contract !!
Yes to sign Williams if Fulham release him and Connolly could still do a job. I fear the worst for James Constable though. Hunt Rose Rigg and Potter, who has looked poor recently can all go..... And please please Mr Waddock ( I'm being a creep !!) do NOT extend Smalley's contract !! learned
  • Score: 1

8:26am Sat 29 Mar 14

cowleyman says...

wing . clark. Williams. connerly. rest can go. new manager new squad..good luck.
wing . clark. Williams. connerly. rest can go. new manager new squad..good luck. cowleyman
  • Score: -1

8:57am Sat 29 Mar 14

MiddleBartonYellow says...

I don't think there is anything sinister in it at all. As a manager he will want to bring his own players in which is obvious. There is no point in handing out contracts now only to realise in the the summer that you don't want the player.

The reality is though when everyone is fit we are not that far away despite recent results. Obviously we don't score enough goals so that needs addressing and also not creative enough from midfield.
I don't think there is anything sinister in it at all. As a manager he will want to bring his own players in which is obvious. There is no point in handing out contracts now only to realise in the the summer that you don't want the player. The reality is though when everyone is fit we are not that far away despite recent results. Obviously we don't score enough goals so that needs addressing and also not creative enough from midfield. MiddleBartonYellow
  • Score: 1

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