Luke Williams: Notts County boss says Ruben Rodrigues reason behind U's links

Notts County boss Luke Williams says it was an interview with Oxford United midfielder Ruben Rodrigues which inadvertently turned him into a favourite for the U's job.

Williams has been heavily linked with the Oxford vacancy after ex-Magpies player Rodrigues said he would like to see his old boss replace Liam Manning.

The 42-year-old, however, insists the club has made no approach.

"I heard our friend Ruben Rodrigues made a comment," Williams laughed.

"He was asked a question immediately after a game and the guys are out there, adrenaline going and in a certain frame of mind. He was probably caught off guard a little bit.

"He is such a great guy, has a brilliant character - we all know his personality - and he said something after the game that sparked attention.

"I haven't had any contact, only with Ruben."

Portuguese midfielder Rodrigues was one of Notts' most influential figures under Williams on the way to promotion last season - scoring 19 National League goals and providing 15 assists in the 2022-23.

Williams has been linked to numerous vacancies in recent months after guiding Notts back to the English Football League after a four-year absence.

League One Oxford followed reported interest from Championship side Bristol City when they were looking for a replacement for Nigel Pearson - a job that Manning left Oxford for.

Before that it was Reading, and last season Portsmouth were said to be admirers.

"I'm sure there was some level of interest, which is nice to know, but nothing more than that," said Williams when pressed on the latest links by BBC Radio Nottingham.

Williams has previously spoken about the luxury of being "a chooser" when it comes to his job, after spending his career before Notts being "a beggar".

He says the latest rumours have done nothing to distract him from what he is doing with Notts in League Two, with the Magpies fifth after 17 games.

"I've been linked a few time with few different jobs," Williams said. "In the end it becomes silly and too many times where I could have said to the players, 'don't listen to this'.

"I prefer to just carry on with our routine and not change it for something that is pointless. If the day came where I decided I was moving on or that I'm told to move on, I'd be the first one to tell the players and have a honest conversation with them.

"When there is no need to have that conversation, I'll leave speculation to be speculation."