Report this comment
  • "I meant to say the 666 betting advert"
  • This field is mandatory
  • This field is mandatory
  • Please note we will not accept reports with HTML tags or URLs in them.


  • Enter the above word in the box below

Oxford United must play with no fear, says new boss

Michael Appleton

Michael Appleton

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

MICHAEL Appleton used his first meeting with Oxford United’s players to call for them to stick to their strengths and play without fear.

The new head coach is well aware time is of the essence after starting work on Monday, just over a month before the start of the Sky Bet League Two season.

He is keen to bring in new players quickly, but also wants to get to know those already at the club.

Appleton spoke briefly to the squad to lay out his plans, and the former Portsmouth and Blackburn boss intends to lead by example.

He said: “I told them there’s going to be no Robert de Niro speeches. You’ll know what my qualities are and you’ll see what I’m about over the next days, weeks and months with the professionalism I bring to the party.

“I expect them over a period of time to come and introduce themselves to me and tell me about themselves.

“That’s how I work. I always have an open door and I’m quite an easy guy to get on with as long as you do your job properly.

“I just want the players to express themselves.

“Whatever qualities they bring to the team – do it without fear.

“Whether you’re someone who defends well, a good passer or like to attack people, stick to your strengths and relax.”

Dave Kitson is the only U’s player who has worked with Appleton before, when the pair were at Fratton Park during the 2011-12 season.

The rest will have to learn how the new boss wants to play, their first outing coming with the start of the pre-season games at Farnborough this Saturday.

Appleton believes his sides have a track record of attractive football but also acknowledged there was a need to be pragmatic.

He said: “Most people are going to say ‘I want an open brand of football’.

“They use all the right words and to be fair, with 90 per cent of them, that is what they want.

“With my background I think the majority of sides I’ve been with have always played good football.

“But on the other hand, you have to find a way to win.

“There will be occasions between November and January where the weather isn’t fantastic and there will be situations where we need to find a way to win when we’ll have our backs to the wall.

“Hopefully we have enough personalities and strength of character to do that.”

Latest Sport news

Oxford United reduce season ticket prices for 2015/16 campaign

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Wednesday 6th May 2015

OXFORD United have taken the bold step of reducing prices for season tickets across the board when they go on sale this morning.

MICHAEL DUBERRY COLUMN: Consistent John Terry gets my vote for player of the season

Oxford Mail:

3:00pm Wednesday 6th May 2015

CHELSEA won the Premier League on Sunday and just like the table suggests, they have been the best team since day one.

POLL: What do you think of Oxford United's season ticket prices?

Oxford Mail: oxford united logo 1200pix

11:39am Wednesday 6th May 2015

Oxford United dismiss option of moving away supporters

Oxford Mail: oxford united logo 1200pix

9:20am Wednesday 6th May 2015

AWAY supporters at the Kassam Stadium will not be moved next season after Oxford United considered a variety of alternatives.

CRICKET: George French stars as Minster Lovell stun reigning champions Cowley Internationals

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Wednesday 6th May 2015

Minster Lovell gave defending champions Cowley Internationals a stern lesson by romping to a 133-run victory in their OCA Division 1 opener.

SCHOOLS' FOOTBALL: Late strike sinks Vale of White Horse

Oxford Mail: football generic

8:00am Wednesday 6th May 2015

Vale of White Horse Under 13s were sunk by a late goal in a 2-1 defeat to Southampton in the Meeson Trophy at Milton United.

SCHOOLS; FOOTBALL: Oxfordshire are on brink of Reed Trophy joy

Oxford Mail: football generic

8:00am Wednesday 6th May 2015

Oxfordshire Under 14s have one hand on the Reed Trophy in the South West Counties competition following a 1-0 win over Hampshire at Milton United.

SCHOOLS' FOOTBALL: Hot-shot Ryan Holmes seals double for Henry Box School

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Wednesday 6th May 2015

Ryan Holmes’s superb free-kick enabled Henry Box (Witney) to celebrate a double as they added the Oxfordshire Under 14 Schools’ Cup to their West Oxfordshire League title.

SCHOOLS' FOOTBALL: Oxfordshire on trail of national cup glory at St Andrew's

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Wednesday 6th May 2015

Oxfordshire bid to cap an outstanding season with victory over Durham in the ESFA Under 16 Inter County Trophy final at Birmingham City’s St Andrew’s ground on Friday (6.30).

SCHOOLS' FOOTBALL: Wheatley Park lift Oxfordshire Under 19 Schools' Cup

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Wednesday 6th May 2015

Wheatley Park lifted the Oxfordshire Under 19 Schools’ Cup with a 2-0 win over Burford in the final at Oxford City.

Comments (5)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

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