Report this comment
  • "Yes it most definitely is the Kass Stad in the 666 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

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 stage comeback to beat Swindon Town

Oxford Mail: oxford united logo 1200pix

3:26pm Tuesday 30th September 2014

JAMES Roberts came off the bench to score the winner as Oxford United came from two goals down to win 3-2 against Swindon Town at Roman Way.

Dismal start troubles Appleton

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Tuesday 30th September 2014

Oxford United’s position in the table is now a concern for head coach Michael Appleton, who has acknow-ledged it is taking longer than expected to improve results.

CRICKET: Brooks gets nominated for player of the year

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Tuesday 30th September 2014

Jack Brooks said being nominated for the Professional Cricketers’ Association (PCA) player of the year was an added bonus to a great season.

FOOTBALL: Murombedzi back at Banbury after trial spells

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Tuesday 30th September 2014

Midfielder Shepherd Murombedzi has returned to Banbury United following unsuccessful trials with Leyton Orient and Mansfield Town.

HOCKEY: Battling Hawks lose out to national stars

Oxford Mail: Oxford Hawks Ethan Chapman gets airborne against Oxford University

8:00am Tuesday 30th September 2014

Oxford Hawks put in a superb battling performance as they lost 5-2 at home to National Premier League side Hampstead & Westminster in the second round of the NOW: Pensions Cup on Sunday.

RUGBY UNION: Henley outgun Southend but slip to second

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Tuesday 30th September 2014

NATIONAL 2 SOUTH

MOTORSPORT: Plato doubts title chances despite Silverstone joy

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Tuesday 30th September 2014

JASON Plato kept the British Touring Car Championship title race alive with two wins at Silverstone, but the Oxford driver believes it is too late for him to catch leader Colin Turkington.

RUGBY UNION:

Oxford Mail: Oxford Harlequins full back Jack Robinson races through for one of his six tries during the 79-7 hammering of Swindon that sent Quins top

8:00am Tuesday 30th September 2014

NATIONAL 3 SOUTH WEST

Woeful Oxford United Women battered by Reading

Oxford Mail: oxford united logo 1200pix

8:00am Tuesday 30th September 2014

A lacklustre Oxford United Women suffered a 5-0 thrashing at local rivals Reading, writes MATTHEW BRUCE.

DARTS: Holly's maximums set up first Premier title for Green

Oxford Mail:

7:30am Tuesday 30th September 2014

KIDLINGTON Green Social Club B clinched their first Premier Section title as they won 5-4 at nearest challengers Windrush Social Club.

Local Businesses

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