ACCRINGTON Stanley boss James Beattie says he has reassured his players that there has been no official approach from Oxford United for his services.
Beattie remains the favourite for the vacancy at the Kassam Stadium but has insisted that his commitment is to Stanley, as he prepares for tomorrow night’s home game against Scunthorpe.
Oxford currently sit third in League Two – 16 places above Stanley – but are believed to be happy to give caretaker boss Mickey Lewis an extended run at the helm following Chris Wilder’s resignation.
Asked whether he was flattered by the Oxford links, Beattie said: “At the present moment it doesn’t mean anything.
“I spoke to the boys the other night, and said there has been no official approach from anybody.
“I know they were talking and they were a little bit worried that I was going somewhere.
“But I’ve explained the situation and said that my commitment is to them and it has been since day one, since I walked through the door.
“I think everybody was at ease when I put their mind at rest.”
Midfielder Luke Joyce has been with Stanley since 2009 and has seen managers John Coleman, Paul Cook and Leam Richardson all depart to take jobs elsewhere.
He admits he would not be surprised if former England striker Beattie did attract interest from other clubs.
“With someone like the gaffer, he’s high profile and with how well he’s done so far this season in his first season in management, it’s not a surprise,” Joyce said.
“But there has been plenty of that over the past few seasons with managers leaving and I’m used to it now.
“I didn’t really know much about the Oxford links, the other lads seemed to see more about it than me but he’s told us, he’s been honest with us and that’s all we can ask.
“We’re desperate for him to stay and it seems like he’s desperate to stay himself.”
Stanley are assessing the fitness of Kal Naismith (hip) ahead of the Scunthorpe game.
The Reds are aiming to attract a crowd of more than 2,000 for the Friday night fixture, and are offering adults tickets for £10 for season ticket holders at other Football League and Premier League clubs.
“If the storms stop coming off the Atlantic and people can leave their nice warm houses to come and watch us, that would be fantastic,” Beattie said.