LIAM Manning says ensuring Chris Hogg joined him at Oxford United as his number two was ‘non-negotiable’.

The duo started work at United on Monday as they look to guide the club away from the Sky Bet League One relegation zone.

The U’s sacked Karl Robinson on February 26 after a dismal run of form which yielded one point from a possible 24.

After an almost two-week recruitment process, former MK Dons boss Manning and his assistant Hogg were announced as the men hired to try and improve the club’s fortunes.

Bicester Advertiser: Click here to sign up to the Oxford United newsletter Click here to sign up to the Oxford United newsletter (Image: Newsquest)

Former centre back Hogg spent the majority of his playing career in Scotland with Hibernian, before taking on coaching roles in the Under-23 teams of Ipswich Town and Newcastle United.

On the importance of bringing Hogg with him to United, Manning said: “It was pretty much a non-negotiable for me on that front.

“He knows me inside out, he knows how to read my emotion and he’s a terrific coach himself.

“It was a non-negotiable for me that he came with me.

“In terms of his knowledge of the game and eye for detail, he knows how I want the game to be played.

“The big thing is he’ll challenge me as well, he won’t just be around me saying yes to everything.

“He’ll throw curveballs at me and challenge me on the decisions that I make.

“It’s really important that I have a relationship with him and the other staff as well, where we want the same goal and work towards the same thing.”

Craig Short, assisted by Leon Blackmore-Such and Wayne Brown, took caretaker charge as the U’s put in improved displays against Lincoln City and Derby County, but ultimately still came away with nothing.

The trio will remain the club, it has been announced, and Manning praised them during his first press conference earlier this week.

He said: “They’ve done a really good job in the last two weeks, in terms of where the lads are at mentally.

“When you see them in training and the intensity, they’ve clearly been working at it and done a good job in the last few weeks.

“You can see straight away our values are quite aligned in terms of how we are as people, and around that, they’ve got the knowledge, expertise and relationships already established with the group and the club.

“We’ll make our own observations and form our own opinions but at the same point, we’d be crazy not to use their knowledge already.”

At MK Dons, sporting director Liam Sweeting was responsible for recruitment, therefore transfers will be a somewhat new area for Manning to delve into.

He said: “The biggest thing now is addressing the immediate of what we need to do, the short-term element that we need to flip the team round and start getting results to match elements of the performances you’ve seen in the last two weeks.

“At the same point, working with Ed [Waldron] and the recruitment guys to make sure we’re proactive in what we do in the summer.

“It’s hugely important we build a side capable of competing.”