DUBERRY COLUMN: U's can learn lessons from 'Liverpool way'

Oxford's boss Michael Appleton needs time to get it right

Oxford's boss Michael Appleton needs time to get it right

First published in Sport

No wins in his first three league games in charge of his new club and very little to cheer about after so much promise when he took over.

After being one of those singing his praises when he was appointed, it looked like it was too big a job for him very early on.

Now I know you are thinking I am talking about Oxford United boss Michael Appleton and it very much reads that way, but I am in fact talking about Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers.

After his first three games in charge of Liverpool, Rodgers had just a single point and in fact it took him six games to register his first league win.

It all seems untrue considering where he has taken Liverpool, but it’s true and great to see.

Liverpool FC and Oxford United as football clubs don’t usually have much in common, apart from possibly legends John Aldridge and Ray Houghton playing for both, but the turnaround of fortunes can be another.

Time and patience were two things given to Rodgers by fans and players, but most importantly the chairman.

I say that because they ultimately do the hiring and firing.

I believe the men in charge of the Yellows have a plan just like the chairman of Liverpool did. Rodgers managed Liverpool knowing that there was no noose dangling around his neck and the club reaped the reward.

Time is not really something given to players or managers in modern-day football, but Liverpool showed the benefits of sticking to a plan.

When Rodgers took over at Liverpool, he changed the mentality of the place, of each and every player who wore the badge and entered the club.

He first got them believing in him and in doing that he got them believing in the way he wanted them to play.

The ‘Liverpool Way’ was brought back and suddenly there was an identity and ethos recognisable to everyone.

I have always said that there should be an ‘Oxford Way’ and the club should have its own identity and ethos.

Whoever walks through the door knows the identity of the club, knows the ethos of the club and conforms to them both.

Even though the league table doesn’t give much comfort to anyone at the moment, I have faith in the new Oxford United era.

I get comfort from my belief that there is work in progress going on at the Kassam, and I can see things turning around.

Rodgers once said: “If Liverpool players aren’t aiming for the Champions League, they won’t be at the club.”

I hope that if Oxford’s players aren’t aiming for League One and higher, they won’t be there.

Liverpool FC are a modern day example of what can happen when you execute a plan with time and patience.

Oxford have a great blueprint for success not only on the pitch, but also off the pitch and I hope they can follow it.

Come on you Yellows.

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