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Des Buckingham leads Oxford United to EFL Championship promotion

Published at :May 19, 2024 at 4:14 PM
Modified at :May 19, 2024 at 4:14 PM
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(Courtesy : Oxford United)

Yash Pratap Singh

Des Buckingham made to move to Oxford United mid-season and changed their fortunes with his acumen.

Former Mumbai City FC manager Des Buckingham has scripted history with his boyhood club Oxford United by helping them gain promotion to the EFL Championship in front of a 70,000 crowd at the iconic Wembley Stadium.

Des Buckingham won the ISL league shield with Mumbai CIty FC last season before leaving the Islanders midway through the recently concluded season to take over the hot seat at his former club who were fighting for promotion in the English third tier.

Oxford United gain promotion to the English Championship

The former New Zealand U-23 coach was handed over the reins of Oxford United after Liam Manning moved to Bristol City. The U’s had to lash out a hefty fee to get the services of their former player who was under contract with Mumbai City FC.

Des Buckingham came in and changed everything at Oxford United. He took on a fairytale run and gave the players and the fans a chance to dream. He changed Oxford United’s approach both on and off the field. 

From somehow managing to dodge relegation in the previous season to gaining promotion this season, Oxford United and Des Buckingham have scripted their own story. Oxford United had a season filled with highs and lows, so much so that they were on the brink of elimination for a top-six finish.

They won just two out of seven games under Buckingham, but stood up to the occasion and answered the call when it mattered the most. The U’s won their final game 2-1 against Exeter City to book a place in the playoffs.

They next locked horns with Peterborough United in the semi-final and put up a great show across the two legs to snatch a 2-1 victory on aggregate to reach Wembley. And then came the ultimate game against Bolton where Josh Murphy’s double helped Oxford United cross the finish line. With this win, Des Buckingham has brought an end to Oxford United’s wait of 25 years of qualifying to the EFL Championship. 

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