Oxford United boss seeks to find the right balance

Oxford United head coach Michael Appleton thinks the side’s patchy results will turn    Picture: Steve Wheeler Order no: OX69549

Oxford United head coach Michael Appleton thinks the side’s patchy results will turn Picture: Steve Wheeler Order no: OX69549

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

OXFORD United head to Essex tomorrow still looking for lift-off to the Michael Appleton era, but the head coach is adamant the bumpy start will be worth it.

There is a reason few teams at this level even consider the sort of attractive style United have deployed so far – it is not easy to pull off.

A commitment to artistry is admirable, but they have come away empty-handed against teams using a lower-risk, more agricultural approach.

Pretty performances do not pay the bills if they fail to produce results, but ahead of the visit to Southend United, Appleton is not rattled.

On the contrary, the U’s boss believes it could be necessary in the long run.

He said: “I’ve been involved in three promotions as a player and a couple as a coach and you have to experience periods like we are at the minute to actually win things and get on the other end of it.

“Because you don’t appreciate a 1-0 win away from home where you’ve been under the cosh unless you’ve been on the other end of it, where you’ve played really well and lost.”

A handful of bad results will not deter Appleton from a long-term plan to take United forward, but that does not mean fixtures will be frittered away.

He said: “What we have to be really careful of is making sure we get the balance right between short and long-term success.

“I have a long-term vision for the club and I want to change the philosophy and DNA.

“I think I am doing that slowly but surely and I think the fans are seeing that, but obviously people want short-term success as well.

“What is short-term success? At the minute it’s just to win a game.

“Once we’ve done that you go to the next goal.”

Although all appears calm inside the United camp, a Sky Bet League Two table which shows only goal difference keeping them off the bottom will fill some supporters with unease.

“I understand it because that’s the way football has gone – it’s to panic,” Appleton said.

“That is the truth, when a couple of results haven’t gone our way let’s panic, let’s go and do something stupid.

“I can’t control that and I don’t want to.

“All I can control is making sure the players are in a good frame of mind and are organised.”

He added: “The players will feel frustrated at the minute, but not to the point where they forget what we are about.

“As difficult as it is to lose a game, I would pay to come and watch us play, because we do it the right way.”

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Comments (4)

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4:02pm Fri 5 Sep 14

OUFC67 says...

The right balance is to win games. No one really wants to watch nice football and see a losing team week in, week out in the League that gets relegated to the conference at the end of the season because they are no good. MA talks too much and needs to starting getting results. The balance is winning and playing reasonable eye catching football in doing so. MA states - “As difficult as it is to lose a game, I would PAY to come and watch us play, because we do it the RIGHT way.” No you do not, as you do not win. Win at Southend and you can blab all you want, as results count. Southend is a team we hardly ever beat. So 3 points is more than welcome.
The right balance is to win games. No one really wants to watch nice football and see a losing team week in, week out in the League that gets relegated to the conference at the end of the season because they are no good. MA talks too much and needs to starting getting results. The balance is winning and playing reasonable eye catching football in doing so. MA states - “As difficult as it is to lose a game, I would PAY to come and watch us play, because we do it the RIGHT way.” No you do not, as you do not win. Win at Southend and you can blab all you want, as results count. Southend is a team we hardly ever beat. So 3 points is more than welcome. OUFC67
  • Score: 12

8:35pm Fri 5 Sep 14

disco80 says...

Spot on OUFC 67. MA has a big head considering we only have 1point on the board. He would pay to watch us play the right way. God sake man the football is good football but its not world class and its not working in this league. Get a grip MA its not working and its clearly has faults. Stop blowing your own trumpet i just hope for OUFC s sake your mate does the right thing if needed#jobsfortheboy
s.
Spot on OUFC 67. MA has a big head considering we only have 1point on the board. He would pay to watch us play the right way. God sake man the football is good football but its not world class and its not working in this league. Get a grip MA its not working and its clearly has faults. Stop blowing your own trumpet i just hope for OUFC s sake your mate does the right thing if needed#jobsfortheboy s. disco80
  • Score: 5

7:59am Sat 6 Sep 14

Davos P says...

Expectations are rockbottom so it's got to be 3 points today!
Optimism aside, I'm very annoyed with these comments. The reality is despite playing 'football in the right way', we've won one game out of 8! That means we've been playing in the wrong way.
MA needs to admit that this isn't working and adapt his game plan accordingly. We can't afford to get involved in a relegation battle.
Please win ugly at the moment and when we're safely in mid table, start experimenting with the 'attractive' philosophy.
Expectations are rockbottom so it's got to be 3 points today! Optimism aside, I'm very annoyed with these comments. The reality is despite playing 'football in the right way', we've won one game out of 8! That means we've been playing in the wrong way. MA needs to admit that this isn't working and adapt his game plan accordingly. We can't afford to get involved in a relegation battle. Please win ugly at the moment and when we're safely in mid table, start experimenting with the 'attractive' philosophy. Davos P
  • Score: 3

1:03pm Sat 6 Sep 14

OxtailSoup says...

Appleton is a talker without anything much to shout about. His track record is not so great and he's only here thanks to his mate. He can't keep spouting nonsense about playing the right way when we haven't won a league game and we're joint bottom of the table.
Appleton is a talker without anything much to shout about. His track record is not so great and he's only here thanks to his mate. He can't keep spouting nonsense about playing the right way when we haven't won a league game and we're joint bottom of the table. OxtailSoup
  • Score: 3
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