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

FOOTBALL: Justin Merritt's relishing step into unknown

Oxford Mail:

9:20am Tuesday 26th May 2015

Oxford City general manager Justin Merritt feels that his side’s change of divisions next season is a mixed blessing, but is relishing the new challenge.

Oxford United installed as third favourites for League Two title

Oxford Mail:

9:10am Tuesday 26th May 2015

Oxford United have been named as one of the favourites for the Sky Bet League Two title next season.

WOMEN'S FOOTBALL: Oxford United are beaten by 92nd-minute penalty

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Tuesday 26th May 2015

AN injury-time penalty from Everton’s Paige Williams inflicted an agonising 3-2 defeat on Oxford United in the FA Women’s Super League 2, writes MATTHEW BRUCE.

GOLF: King smashes course record on way to Frilford crown

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Tuesday 26th May 2015

GARY King was the class act as he smashed the Frilford Heath course record en route to winning the Buildbase Open by two shots.

CRICKET: Hugo Darby cracks super ton to spark Banbury victory

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Tuesday 26th May 2015

Hugo Darby smashed a brilliant century as Banbury beat High Wycombe by six runs in the ECB Twenty20 Home Counties quarter-finals yesterday.

RACING: Limato off to Haydock

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Tuesday 26th May 2015

Exciting sprinter Limato is set to put his unbeaten record on the line in the 888Sport Sandy Lane Stakes at Haydock on Saturday.

GOLF: Ex-Tadmarton Heath member named as new R&A captain

Oxford Mail: golf generic

7:40am Tuesday 26th May 2015

FORMER Tadmarton Heath member Gavin Caldwell will take over as captain of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club later this year.

DARTS: West back for Oxfordshire's finale

Oxford Mail:

7:40am Tuesday 26th May 2015

OXFORDSHIRE visit Dorset this weekend in their final match of the British Inter Counties Championship knowing they need a big victory to stand any chance of winning the Division 1 title.

WOMEN'S FOOTBALL: Taylor deflated after late winner sinks Oxford United

Oxford Mail:

7:30am Tuesday 26th May 2015

LES Taylor was left feeling hard done by after seeing his Oxford United Women’s side sickeningly beaten 3-2 at home to Everton thanks to a 92nd-minute penalty, writes MATTHEW BRUCE.

GOLF: Albatross joy for Nicholson and Tippett

Oxford Mail: golf generic

7:00am Tuesday 26th May 2015

ROBBIE Nicholson and Michael Tippett combined to claim a rare albatross at North Oxford.

Comments (5)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

10:55pm Wed 9 Jul 14

Moobs says...

I like the way he talks, with purpose, confidence and no bull. Unlike the last idiot
I like the way he talks, with purpose, confidence and no bull. Unlike the last idiot Moobs
  • Score: 7

11:05pm Wed 9 Jul 14

northampton yellow says...

Hi all just seen that advert with harry redknappp having a discussion with my missus that is the kassam stadium where it was recorded please can anyone confirm this thank you
Hi all just seen that advert with harry redknappp having a discussion with my missus that is the kassam stadium where it was recorded please can anyone confirm this thank you northampton yellow
  • Score: -2

11:07pm Wed 9 Jul 14

northampton yellow says...

I meant to say the 666 betting advert
I meant to say the 666 betting advert northampton yellow
  • Score: -2

9:15am Thu 10 Jul 14

OUFC 4 EVA says...

Yes it most definitely is the Kass Stad in the 666 advert!!
Yes it most definitely is the Kass Stad in the 666 advert!! OUFC 4 EVA
  • Score: 1

11:00am Thu 10 Jul 14

87oufc says...

Here's the advert:
http://www.tellyads.
com/show_movie.php?f
ilename=TA18086
Here's the advert: http://www.tellyads. com/show_movie.php?f ilename=TA18086 87oufc
  • 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