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Pep Clotet: ‘We can keep fine tuning to see if Oxford can reach the next level’ | Nick Ames

Oxford United’s Spanish manager is eager to put into practice ideas he has picked up in a career that has taken in stints at Swansea City and Leeds United

Pep Clotet admits to being a keen history student and it was with some pleasure that, a fortnight into his tenure as Oxford United manager, he accepted an invitation to dinner at the 462-year-old St John’s College. “I had the luxury of a talk about the college’s traditions afterwards, and a walk around town where they explained a few more things to me,” he says. “It’s a fantastic city. So much has happened here.”

The Kassam Stadium does not provoke quite as much feeling but, if Clotet has his way, it could become a necessary add-on to circuits of the dreaming spires. His appointment at the start of July marked a considerable change for both parties but made a degree of sense. Oxford had just lost Michael Appleton, who led the League One club to eighth place – their highest finish in 17 years – last season but opted to become Craig Shakespeare’s assistant at Leicester City; the 40-year-old Clotet, his stock high after spells as Garry Monk’s No2 at Swansea City and Leeds United, was looking to strike out on his own and came with excellent reviews.

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