FORMER Oxford United winger Chris Allen has the taste for management after his spell as North Leigh boss, and is keeping his options open when it comes to his next steps.

Allen announced his resignation as Millers manager earlier this week, having taken the position in November.

After promotion from Southern League Premier South the previous season under Eddie Odhiambo, the Eynsham Park outfit struggled to adapt to a historic first campaign in the seventh tier of English football.

READ ALSO: Players from relegated sides that Oxford United could look at this summer

Having replaced Odhiambo as boss, Allen led a spirited fight against relegation, ultimately finishing four points adrift of survival.

Allen – who holds a UEFA Pro Licence, the highest coaching qualification in the country – said he is happy to be patient and wait for the right opportunity, while he continues his work with the Coventry City Under-21s side.

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The 50-year-old told this newspaper: “It’s the perfect contrast really. At Coventry City, you’re developing and preparing players to play top level professional football.

“On the other hand you’re managing a side at non-league, where you’re developing and preparing a team to win three points on a Saturday.

“It’s given me the appetite to go and do it again, and I’d like to do it again.

“I have a wonderful job working with Coventry City Under-21s. The staff and players are great.

“I’m not chasing jobs like I used to. Time has given me maturity. When the right opportunity presents itself, I’ll grasp it.

“First and foremost, Coventry City is my bread and butter. We’re back in late June and that’s what I’m looking forward to.”

Reflecting on his time in West Oxfordshire, Allen said: “I had a great time at North Leigh, I thoroughly enjoyed working with the players and coaching staff.

“It came to a point where I didn’t want to continue with the current structure and the mindset as it is.

“It was a really difficult decision to make because at North Leigh, the players are good people who are talented footballers and started to believe that they can achieve great things.

“We were all looking forward to the 2023/24 season with the aim to bounce straight back up.

“Relegation to Step 4 may well be the best thing for the club.

“Structural changes, clarity from the top down with real alignment is what is needed now. This will enable the club to fulfil its potential.”

On the battle against relegation with North Leigh, he added: “Wow, so many emotions, so many highs and lows.

“That’s what we love about the game, right? Everyone in the league thought that we were done.

“What they didn’t account for was the spirited push which went down to the penultimate game of the season.

“I knew that there were good players in the building. I just needed to add belief, a mindset change and way of playing.

“It took a while – maybe five, six or seven games – but once they started to believe and express themselves, they started to get results.

“The task was to get the teams in and around us to look over their shoulders and panic. I think we did that. I enjoyed every moment of it.”

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About the author

To sign up to Liam’s latest Oxford United newsletter for free, click here:

Formerly the politics reporter for the Oxford Mail, Liam now covers all things Oxford United.

Liam attends the U’s home and away, as well as covering other big sports stories across the county.

His Oxford United newsletter is released every Saturday morning at 6am.