Oxford United have confirmed that manager Karl Robinson has penned a new four year deal with the League One side. It was reported last week that the 39-year-old was close to committing his future, and that has now been finalised.
Karl Robinson Extends Oxford United Stay Until 2024
What Was Said
Speaking to the clubs’ official website, chairman Sumrith ‘Tiger’ Thanakarnjanasuth said: “Karl has done an outstanding job and I am so proud of him.
“Two and a half years ago I took months finding the right Manager because I needed someone with a massive desire for success. It took time but we definitely got the right man and we believe Karl will take this club forward on all levels.
“He has given the whole club a very clear identity and purpose and he brings such energy and passion. We want to build a great club here and we are delighted that he wants exactly the same thing.”
Robinson added: “I am very thankful to them for giving me the chance. It wasn’t a difficult choice to make because I haven’t achieved what we set out to do here yet and am grateful to be given the opportunity.
“It’s a very different club now to the one I walked into. The outlook and mentality is now all about improving everything we do, as a club and as a team.
“The staff here are incredible people and I have never been happier coming into work every day. I talked it through with my family and that conversation took seconds because they know how much I love it here.
“It’s signed, it’s out of the way and now we have a brand new season to look forward to.”
Longevity as the Manager
For a lower league club, securing a manager on a long term contract shows sustainably and longevity. The club is heading in the right direction, and the decision from Robinson to remain at the club will be a positive move for all parties.
The U’s boss arrived at Grenoble Road in March 2018 – two months after the sacking of Pep Clotet. During those two months, former chairman Darryl Eales sold the club to ‘Tiger’, who then had to make the right managerial appointment.
Following a successful career with MK Dons, he struggled under difficult circumstances while at Charlton Athletic. His arrival was greeted with some optimism but also some trepidation. Initially, he was tasked with keeping the U’s in the league, having slipped into a relegation battle during those tricky two months. Thankfully, he did that, and it was into his first full season in charge.
Oxford Sticking With Robinson
However, Robinson’s first full season in charge was an extremely disappointing campaign. The U’s spent the majority of the season in and around the bottom four. Fortunately, a nine-game unbeaten run towards the end of the season secured a mid-table finish.
Looking back at that season, the board could have easily made the decision to dismiss their manager. It wasn’t going right on the pitch, the manager was suspended on a number of occasions and the relationship with the chairman appeared strained. But, the board stuck with Robinson and it proved to be the right choice.
So Near, So Far
Last season was a stark contrast to Robinson’s first in charge. Unlike the previous campaign where it was spent at the wrong end of the table, the U’s spent most of the season in the top half, as well as in and around the playoffs.
They ended the season in fourth, eventually losing to Wycombe Wanderers in the League One playoff final. But for Robinson, his team had already overachieved. The club had a bottom half budget and had surpassed expectations in the league, on top of two memorable cup runs, too.
But now, Robinson will be looking to take his side past the final hurdle. The U’s travel to former manager Michael Appleton’s Lincoln City in their League One opener this Saturday.