Wycombe Wanderers manager Matt Bloomfield has praised the ‘one of his good friends’ in Oxford United boss, Liam Manning, ahead of Saturday's derby.

The two, who are both from East Anglia, spent time together in the Ipswich Town Academy during the early 2000s, before their careers took two very different paths.

Bloomfield, as we know, would leave his boyhood team and spend the next 19 years with the Chairboys as a player and coach, before enjoying a five-month spell at Colchester United as their head coach.

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He would then depart in February this year to take over the main role at Wycombe following the exit of Gareth Ainsworth at Queens Park Rangers.

Manning on the other hand would embark on a journeyman career in the lower leagues of English football, with a stint abroad playing in Iceland.

He would then hang up his boots aged 28 to focus on a coaching career, which has seen him take charge of the West Ham United Under 23s, Sommel SK in Belgium, Milton Keynes, and now, Oxford United.

His tactics involve possession and the high press, and this has seen the Kassam Stadium side enjoy a brilliant start to the season, as they sit in the automatic promotion places with nine wins from their 13 games played.

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Speaking ahead of Saturday's M40 Derby, Bloomfield said: “Liam Manning, who is someone who I know very well from our time at Ipswich, along with his coaching team, have done a great job.

“They play with a clear identity as Liam is a man who believes in his methods as he wants his team to play in a certain way.

“He did that with Milton Keynes and had great success there, especially in his first season and he’s taken that into Oxford.

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“It’s no surprise as they have got a very good squad and they have recruited well.

“He took the job at a very good time as they weren’t supposed to be where they want to be, they’ve got a really good squad of players with a healthy budget.

“They survived last season so they were always going to go into something good.

“They’ve taken that forward well in terms of how they set up tactically.

“They have got a lot of momentum but we want to get a result there.”

Wycombe are unbeaten in their last five against Oxford, which includes doing the double over the Yellows last season.