MICHAEL Appleton is getting irritated with praise from opposition managers after Oxford United failed to convert another decent display, writes DAVID PRITCHARD.
Visitors Portsmouth were on the ropes in the first half, but United could not land a telling blow and lost 1-0 to Craig Westcarr’s scruffy 80th-minute effort.
It left United bottom of the Sky Bet League Two table, without a point from their first four games.
In at least three of the fixtures, Appleton’s men have been the better side, but while there are positive signs for the head coach, the lack of reward is frustrating.
He said: “I’m fed up of managers and coaches telling me they’ve got out of jail and that we should’ve won the game.
- U's v Pompey highlights
“That’s a little bit annoying, but you can only just keep going and keep doing the right things.
“I wanted to change the DNA and the culture of the club when I came in.
“The players said to me as difficult as it is losing a game of football, it feels ten times better than it did at the end of last season, because they’re doing it the right way.
“They’re playing to the strengths of the people that are in the building.
“They’re enjoying their football, regardless of what’s happening at the minute and know at any minute it’s going to turn.”
Pompey manager Andy Awford, a former U’s coach, acknowledged the visitors had been second best before the break, but praised their resolve.
He said: “We didn’t play as well as we can in the first half – the standard wasn’t quite what we set ourselves in recent games.
“So to dig in, get the result and come away with three hard-earned points is excellent.”
- Do you want alerts delivered straight to your phone via our WhatsApp service? Text NEWS or SPORT or NEWS AND SPORT, depending on which services you want, and your full name to 07767 417704. Save our number into your phone’s contacts as Oxford Mail WhatsApp and ensure you have WhatsApp installed.
Latest United news:
12:00pm Friday 28th November 2014
PETER Leven believes John Campbell will handle the step up from Northern League to Football League after seeing his talent first-hand.
9:30am Friday 28th November 2014
OXFORD United’s knack of signing coveted players is down to philosophy rather than finances, according to head coach Michael Appleton.
9:10am Friday 28th November 2014
JOHN Campbell expects it will be a struggle to sleep tonight as he deals with excitement levels beyond anything he experienced playing in two Wembley finals.
8:40am Friday 28th November 2014
Tyrone Barnett is hoping he can return to the Oxford United starting line-up tomorrow in place of the injured James Roberts.
8:30am Friday 28th November 2014
New Cheltenham Town boss Paul Buckle started work a day early this week to improve the chances of getting a result against Oxford United tomorrow.