Riley signing is worth the risk - Oxford United boss

Joe Riley at Oxford United’s Roman Way training ground yesterday after signing on a six-month loan deal from Bolton Wanderers

Joe Riley at Oxford United’s Roman Way training ground yesterday after signing on a six-month loan deal from Bolton Wanderers

First published in Sport Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Chief Sports Reporter covering Oxford United. Follow us on twitter: @oxfordmailoufc. Call me on 01865 425458

Signing Joe Riley for Oxford United was a “no-brainer” according to head coach Michael Appleton, despite the full back’s injury record.

The 22-year-old agreed a six-month loan from Bolton Wanderers yesterday and is in line to make his debut against Wolverhampton Wanderers tonight (7.45).

Riley made his Premier League debut three seasons ago, but a promising career has stalled due to injury problems.

The right back has not played a competitive game since January 2013 and missed the whole of last season with a cruciate ligament injury.

But Appleton, whose career was cut short by a knee injury, views it as an opportunity to sign a Championship-standard player who would otherwise have been out of United’s reach.

“Without a shadow of a doubt,” he said.

“He’s a lad who went into it very young and people were expecting big things from him, it’s just unfortunate he suffered an injury.

“If he hadn’t then he would probably have been a regular in the Championship for Bolton as we speak.

“There is a small risk that goes with it, but sometimes you’ve got to take calculated risks, because if you don’t then you don’t achieve anything.”

He added: “Joe’s been one of those I’ve taken an interest in to see how he recovered and when I heard there was an availability to sign him I thought it was a no-brainer.”

Riley returned to full training before the end of last season without any issues and featured for Bolton in their pre-season tour to Denmark and Sweden.

After a testing time, the Salford-born defender is thrilled to have a chance to play regularly.

He said: “I’ve not missed a day’s training and I’ve been available for every game, so I feel as though I’m fully fit.

“Hopefully now all my injuries are behind me. I’m just raring to go, as a footballer you just want to play.”

United’s newest signing will compete with David Hunt for a starting spot at right back this season.

It means full back Matt Bevans is likely to be encouraged, along with striker Tyrone Marsh, to go out on loan until January.

Appleton said: “He’s a young player similar to Tyrone and a couple of the other ones.

“If they’re not going to get enough minutes here I would rather see them play football elsewhere and asking questions of myself.”

Send your Letter to the Editor

11:20am Monday 28th July 2014

What do you think? We welcome letters from our readers on a wide variety of subjects and you can send us a letter through the blue headline above.

VIDEO: Highlights from Oxford United's win over Tranmere Rovers

Oxford Mail:

10:42am Monday 20th October 2014

OXFORD United bounced back to form with a 2-0 win against Tranmere Rovers at the Kassam Stadium.

On-target Alfie Potter hails dream day as Oxford United regain winning habit + VIDEO

Oxford Mail:

9:30am Monday 20th October 2014

ALFIE Potter hailed a “perfect day” as he came off the bench to score and give Oxford United a much-needed victory over Tranmere Rovers.

Oxford United skipper Jake Wright hails Tareiq Holmes-Dennis debut

Oxford Mail:

8:20am Monday 20th October 2014

JAKE Wright praised the performance of debutant Tareiq Holmes-Dennis in Oxford United’s win over Tranmere Rovers.

No player's position is safe, says Oxford United boss Michael Appleton

Oxford Mail:

6:30am Monday 20th October 2014

MICHAEL Appleton said his selection on Saturday should alert Oxford United’s players that they have to perform or face being dropped.

Who was Oxford United's man of the match against Tranmere?

Oxford Mail: oxford united logo 1200pix

5:56pm Saturday 18th October 2014

Oxford United fans' chat

Oxford Mail: oxford united logo 1200pix

11:59am Monday 20th October 2014

Have your say on the hot topics at Oxford United in our 60-minute interactive discussion for supporters from noon.

VIDEO: Highlights from Oxford United's win over Tranmere Rovers

Oxford Mail:

10:42am Monday 20th October 2014

OXFORD United bounced back to form with a 2-0 win against Tranmere Rovers at the Kassam Stadium.

On-target Alfie Potter hails dream day as Oxford United regain winning habit + VIDEO

Oxford Mail:

9:30am Monday 20th October 2014

ALFIE Potter hailed a “perfect day” as he came off the bench to score and give Oxford United a much-needed victory over Tranmere Rovers.

Oxford United skipper Jake Wright hails Tareiq Holmes-Dennis debut

Oxford Mail:

8:20am Monday 20th October 2014

JAKE Wright praised the performance of debutant Tareiq Holmes-Dennis in Oxford United’s win over Tranmere Rovers.

London Welsh lose 28-18 at Lyon

Oxford Mail: London Welsh are staying at the Kassam

7:30am Monday 20th October 2014

LONDON Welsh’s search for a first win of the season goes on despite a much-improved showing in their European Rugby Challenge Cup clash in France.

FOOTBALL: Wantage rocked as boss quits

Oxford Mail:

7:20am Monday 20th October 2014

Wantage Town are looking for a new boss after Gary Acking resigned as manager of the the Southern League side.

FOOTBALL: Shot-shy Banbury are well beaten at Chippenham

Oxford Mail: football generic

7:00am Monday 20th October 2014

Banbury United slipped to their second Evo-Stik Southern League Premier League defeat in a row following Saturday’s 3-0 drubbing at Chippenham Town.

FOOTBALL: Millers' first-half show makes the difference

Oxford Mail: Morgan Williams netted a double in North Leigh's 7-0 win at Guildford City

7:00am Monday 20th October 2014

North Leigh set up an FA Carlsberg first-qualifying round trip to Poole Town after an impressive display in a 2-1 win at Yate Town on Saturday.

FOOTBALL: Deadly Mills does it again

Oxford Mail:

7:00am Monday 20th October 2014

John Mills scored a five-minute double as Didcot booked a trip to Bideford with victory at Loop Meadow Stadium in Saturday’s preliminary round clash.

FOOTBALL: Ingram's super double puts seal on Ardley recovery

Oxford Mail:

7:00am Monday 20th October 2014

Luke Ingram bagged a brace as Ardley United won 2-1 at Cheltenham Saracens in the first round of the Bluefin Sports Challenge Cup.

Comments (1)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

8:56pm Tue 29 Jul 14

Richard Wickson says...

Not sure if Tyrone will ever make it at this level but Matt Bevans looked good every time he played last season and the more he played the better he looked. Really disappointed if he goes out on loan, I would have liked to have seen him play a part here this season, I think it would have been good for the club and him. Appleton is obviously the boss so maybe he hasn't seen what we saw last season. Good luck to both him and Marsh and I hope they come back here and show the Manager they have what he wants!
Not sure if Tyrone will ever make it at this level but Matt Bevans looked good every time he played last season and the more he played the better he looked. Really disappointed if he goes out on loan, I would have liked to have seen him play a part here this season, I think it would have been good for the club and him. Appleton is obviously the boss so maybe he hasn't seen what we saw last season. Good luck to both him and Marsh and I hope they come back here and show the Manager they have what he wants! Richard Wickson
  • Score: 2

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree