Exclusive: "I love him" - Josh Murphy makes Oxford United revelation about Des Buckingham | OneFootball

Exclusive: "I love him" - Josh Murphy makes Oxford United revelation about Des Buckingham | OneFootball

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·25 April 2024

Exclusive: "I love him" - Josh Murphy makes Oxford United revelation about Des Buckingham

Article image:Exclusive: "I love him" - Josh Murphy makes Oxford United revelation about Des Buckingham

It seems as though Josh Murphy is enjoying life under Des Buckingham at Oxford United.

That's after the winger paid tribute to the U's boss for the impact he has made at the Kassam Stadium since taking over.

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Buckingham was appointed as Oxford boss back in November 2023, returning to a club he had previously coached and played for at youth level.

The 39-year-old left his role with Indian top-flight side Mumbai City to take charge of the League One club, taking over from Liam Manning, who had left to become manager of Bristol City in the Championship.

Murphy meanwhile, is now in his second season with Oxford, having joined in the summer of 2022, and he has evidently been impressed with what Buckingham has done since taking over.

Murphy gives insight into Oxford under Buckingham

When Buckingham took over, Oxford sat third in the League One table, one point adrift of the automatic promotion places.

Admittedly, they have slipped down the table since then, but they are not out of the race for a play-off place just yet.

Regardless of that, Murphy still also seems to feel as though Buckingham has made a positive impact since arriving at The Kassam Stadium.

Speaking about what it is like to play for Oxford under the 39-year-old, Murphy revealed to FLW via Sky Bet: “It’s been brilliant working under Des Buckingham. He’s come in and we’ve obviously got a different style of play to what we had with the previous manager.

"It took a bit of time to get used to, but the style [of play] suits me perfectly. You can see, especially over the last five or six weeks, the football is really coming together with some big wins. It’s been brilliant.

"The way that he’s handled me, and been with me, has been great and I feel like I’m doing my talking on the pitch. He’s been good for me, supports me, let’s me go out there and make mistakes. I love him and it’s been good to work with him.”

Oxford still hoping for a League One play-off place

Going into the final day of the League One season on Saturday, Oxford are not out of the race for a play-off spot yet.

The U's currently sit seventh in the table, level on points with sixth place Lincoln City, and one behind fifth place Barnsley.

Meanwhile, Blackpool sit eighth in the table and are just a point behind Buckingham's side, so there is still plenty that could change in the battle for a top six spot, and shot at promotion to the Championship.

Oxford's final game of the season sees the U's make the trip to St James Park to face an Exeter City side who are guaranteed to finish the campaign comfortably in mid-table.

A revealing insight from Murphy

This does feel like an interesting look into life under Buckingham at Oxford that Murphy has provided.

Despite the fact that they have slipped down the table somewhat, it does still suggest that the 39-year-old is doing a good job in the Kassam Stadium dugout.

They are of course, not out of the play-off race yet, and it would be an impressive achievement if they secure a top six spot, given Buckingham's lack of managerial experience, and the fact that the U's were unlikely to be have been among the favourites for promotion this season.

Indeed, the impression that the 39-year-old has left on the likes of Murphy, does seem to serve as a reminder about how there is more than just results for a manager to worry about, with a squad to develop and keep happy as well.

You also wonder whether this could give hope to some Oxford fans when it comes to the future of Murphy.

The winger, who has been vital for the U's this season, is out of contract at the end of the campaign, amid reported interest from a number of Championship clubs.

But the fact he seems to be enjoying playing under Buckingham at The Kassam Stadium, may suggest that he could be open to remaining at Oxford beyond the end of his current deal, in the right circumstances.

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