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Oxford United Weekly Round-Up: Awards, Contracts and Injury News

Featured image: Wikimedia Commons. Nigel Cox,_Oxford.jpg CC BY-SA 2.0

Oxford United had a weekend off after their trip to Lincoln City was postponed due to several international call-ups.

Despite that, there is still lots of U’s news to cover, including a young goalkeeper joining a Premier League team, a manager of the month nomination for Liam Manning, and a new deal for a first-team player.

Oxford United Weekly Round-Up: Awards, Contracts and Injuries

Everton Sign Oxford Goalkeeper

On Tuesday, Everton’s U21 side signed Oxford United goalkeeper, Fraser Barnsley.

The 18-year-old academy graduate, who impressed as the U’s reached the quarter-finals of the FA Youth Cup last season, has penned a two-year deal.

After sealing his move to Merseyside, Barnsley told evertontv: “It’s an amazing feeling and a very proud moment for me and my family.

“I’ll make sure I’m improving every day I’m in the building at Everton and I’ll try to enjoy it because opportunities to play for a football club like this don’t come along often.

“It’s a great club with a great foundation and history and I’m just buzzing to get started.”

Read More: Three Talking Points: Depleted Oxford United Side Bounce Back With a Win

Manning Nominated for Manager of the Month

Head coach Liam Manning was then nominated for the League One manager of the month for August.

Despite an opening day defeat at Cambridge, Manning led his side to four successive wins to end the month top of the league.

Alongside Manning, Exeter City’s Gary Caldwell, former U’s defender and Port Vale manager Andy Crosby and Wigan’s Shaun Maloney had also been nominated.

On Manning, the judges’ comments read: “Manning has blown away any pre-season pessimism following last season’s struggles and not just with the style of play he preaches.

“Of their four wins from five games which sent Oxford top, two were at promotion favourites Derby and Barnsley.”

Manning Scoops Award

On Friday, Manning was awarded the League One manager of the month for August.

As a result, the 38-year-old ended the club’s 18-year stretch without winning the award, with Ramon Diaz the last to win the accolade in January 2005.

In true Manning style, the head coach was quick to praise his backroom staff for helping him win the award. He said: “It’s a mixed thing for me.

“I’m hugely proud and I’d never disrespect the award or the history behind it, or the pride of winning it, but for me, it’s bigger picture stuff.

“I’m massively fortunate to have a terrific group of staff behind me.

“Hoggy’s [Chris Hogg, assistant head coach] been with me for a long time, as has Pricey [Lewis Price, goalkeeper coach].

“I’ve put them through a lot of stress and aggro, and that’s why for me it’s a staff of the month award, not a manager of the month – that’s probably the biggest message.”

Manning also lauded his playing squad for their efforts, adding: “It’s testament to what the players have delivered on the pitch and the work the staff have done all the way from the off-season to pre-season, to now.

“The award is a terrific achievement, but it doesn’t feel right that it’s a single person being highlighted for it.

“I’m only as good as the players and the culture that we have, and the staff around me.”

Negru Pens New Oxford United Contract

Defender Stephan Negru penned a new “longer-term” deal with the club this week.

The 21-year-old, who joined the U’s in January, has impressed in his recent displays with Jordan Thorniley out injured.

Speaking to the club’s official website, he said: “It was an easy decision. I love being at the club, they have been great with me.

“It was a big step to come over from Ireland but the club have made me feel so at home, the fans have been brilliant and I definitely want to be part of what the Gaffer is building here.”

Liam Manning, who was awarded League One manager of the month for August earlier today, said: “We talk about depth of squad and people being ready when called upon. Stephan is a fantastic example of that.

“He had to be a little bit patient but he has seized his opportunity and has so much potential. He wants to learn and pushes himself to be better but along with that work ethic, he is also a terrific competitor. It’s great news to see him commit his future to the club.”

U’s Duo Injured on International Duty

Ciaron Brown and Tyler Goodrham both picked up knocks while away on international duty.

Goodrham, who was selected for the Republic of Ireland U21s after recently switching his allegiance, picked up a hip injury before he was given the chance to make his debut, while Brown, who was part of the Northern Ireland squad, picked up an ankle injury during their 4-2 defeat to Slovenia.

Featured image: Nigel Cox. CC BY-SA 2.0.


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