Wait over as Wilder is named the new Cobblers boss


Chris Wilder is the new manager of Northampton Town.

The former Oxford United boss has been handed a three-and-a-half year contract at Sixfields, and he has named former Rotherham, Bury and Torquay manager Alan Knill as his assistant.

The pair start work today and will take charge of their first Cobblers match tomorrow night when Rochdale are the visitors at Sixfields in Sky Bet League Two.

“I am delighted to be able to appoint Chris,” said Town chairman David Cardoza, who has been searching for a new manager since the sacking of Aidy Boothroyd back on December 21.

“I know it has been a frustrating time for our supporters and I apologise for that, but I make no apologies for taking our time and making sure we made the right appointment.

“We were in the capable hands of Andy King so we took our time, assessed our options, spoke to a lot of people in the game and all the reports we got on Chris were excellent.

“We were looking for a manager who has the experience required to guide us out of our current position and one who is ambitious and driven enough to take the club forward in the medium term and Chris is the perfect choice.

“The fact that he served Oxford and Halifax for so long shows what a good job he did at both clubs.”

Compensation between the Cobblers and Oxford was only settled on Sunday night.

Initial reports stated that Wilder had resigned as Us boss following their 1-0 win over Torquay United at the Kassam Stadium on Saturday.

Wilder later issued a statement saying he had not resigned, and for a time some Cobblers fans will have feared a spanner being thrown in the works, but the situation was soon resolved and the 46-year-old was allowed to make the short move down the A43.

And Cardoza was quick to pay tribute to his opposite number at the Kassam.

“I would like to say a big thank you to Oxford Chairman Ian Lenagan who has been an absolute gentleman through this whole process,” said the Cobblers chairman.

“These situations have the potential to become quite unpleasant but he has been very professional.

“He has been a tough negotiator but we finally reached a compensation figure that we were both comfortable with, and I wish him and Oxford United the very best of luck in their promotion push.”

Wilder and Knill now have five days of the transfer window to bring in the players to significantly strengthen a team that is rock bottom of the Football League and six points adrift of safety following Saturday’s 3-1 home reverse at the hands of Chesterfield.

Knill was in the stands at Sixfields to see Town struggle against the Spireites, and will be able to tell Wilder first hand exactly where the team needs bolstering.

And Cardoza has confirmed that money is going to be made available to sign the players needed to get the Cobblers out of the relegation mess they find themselves in.

“Chris will be able to strengthen the squad before the transfer window closes and that is now the focus of our work,” confirmed the chairman.

Wilder was born in Sheffield, and began his managerial career at Alfreton Town in 2001 after a long playing career which started at Southampton and concluded at Halifax Town 15 years and 11 clubs later.

He even had a brief loan spell at Sixfields under Ian Atkins, making just one appearance in a 1-0 defeat at Colchester United in November, 1998.

Wilder returned to Halifax as manager in July 2002, and led the club to the Conference play-off final despite the club suffering financial problems.

He remained at The Shay for six years before making the move to Bury as Knill’s assistant.

Wilder moved to Oxford United in December 2008 following a six-month stint at Gigg Lane and he immediately turned around the club’s fortunes, taking the club back into the Football League via the Conference play-off final win over York City at Wembley at the end of his first full season.

Under Wilder, Oxford ended each season with a higher finishing position than the previous campaign, aside from last season when they equalled their previous position of ninth in league two.

In all, Wilder won 121 of his 269 games in charge of Oxford, losing 78.

Knill becomes assistant to Wilder, having been sacked as manager of Torquay on Boxing Day, being replaced at Plainmoor by Chris Hargreaves.

As a player Knill turned out for Southampton, Halifax Town, Swansea City, Bury, Cardiff City, Scunthorpe and Rotherham United.

He has also managed Rotherham, Scunthorpe, Bury and Torquay.