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Liam Manning Leaves Oxford United to Join Bristol City: A Brilliant Tenure

Just 15 games into the new League One season, Oxford United head coach Liam Manning has departed the club and joined Championship outfit, Bristol City. His assistant, Chris Hogg, has also joined the Robins, with the duo penning deals at Ashton Gate until the summer of 2027.

Manning, 38, joined the U’s in March following Karl Robinson’s sacking and made an immediate impact. He managed to keep the relegation-threatened club in League One with two wins and five draws from the final ten games of the previous season.

This season, Manning had overseen ten wins from 15 matches, leaving the club second in the division, just three points behind league leaders Portsmouth. His tenure was marked by success and he became the first Oxford boss to pick up a Football League Manager of the Month award since Ramon Diaz in January 2005 when he guided the U’s to four wins from five in August.

Speaking about Manning’s departure, chairman Grant Ferguson said, “We reluctantly gave Bristol City permission to speak with Liam after he indicated he wanted to discuss their vacant managerial position with them. The club did everything it could to keep him here, but we move on and the project continues. Our focus now is to quickly appoint Liam’s successor and support Craig as interim Head Coach.”

Oxford United’s Chief Executive Officer, Tim Williams, expressed his disappointment at losing Manning and Hogg, but assured fans that the club has already begun the process of securing the best possible candidate to replace Manning. Williams is confident that the club’s fantastic training facilities and exciting future will attract significant interest in the role.

As the search for a new head coach begins, former Birmingham City boss John Eustace has emerged as the early bookmakers’ favorite to replace Liam Manning. Eustace, who was replaced by Wayne Rooney earlier this season despite leading Birmingham City to sixth place in the Championship, is currently priced at 5/1 according to The Sack Race.

Other early favorites include ex-Lincoln City and Portsmouth boss Danny Cowley at 6/1, Gareth Ainsworth, Garry Monk, and Steve Cotterill all listed at 8/1. However, there is a growing buzz among supporters about Oxford-born Des Buckingham. Currently managing Mumbai City, Buckingham has a similar background to Manning, having spent a significant part of his coaching career with the City Football Group.

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