Des Buckingham: Oxford United boss ‘excited’ by play-offs place

Oxford United manager Des Buckingham says making the League One play-offs is “really exciting” for the club.

The U’s final-day win at Exeter, coupled with Lincoln City’s defeat and Barnsley only drawing, saw them finish in fifth place and a meeting with Peterborough United over two legs in the play-off semi-finals.

“It means a lot as an Oxford boy and an Oxford fan,” Buckingham told BBC Radio Oxford.

“The season’s been pretty turbulent but the players stuck together and with me, we’re entering a really exciting part of the season.

United started the final day in seventh but with Lincoln losing to champions Portsmouth and Barnsley drawing 1-1 with Northampton Town, they were able to move up two positions.

Peterborough came to the Kassam Stadium in the league on 13 April and were thrashed 5-0 by Buckingham’s team.

That victory followed two consecutive 4-0 wins in April, a big reason why the U’s were ultimately able to achieve a spot in the top six.

The Posh were in the conversation for automatic promotion earlier on in the campaign but ended up finishing eight points adrift of second placed Derby County.

Oxford fans will be expected to sell out their home ground for the first leg of their play-off semi final on Saturday.

“I’ve no doubt it will be a special atmosphere,” Buckingham said.

“The fans will make a massive difference, we’re really looking forward to it.

“This time last year the club were celebrating staying up, we’re now trying to go up and we’ll be ready.”

The second leg will take place at Peterborough’s Weston Homes Stadium on 8 May with the play-off final at Wembley 10 days later.

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