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  • "We can tell you exactly what we need. A central midfielder capable of putting his foot on the ball and pass it to a striker capable of getting into the right position and then hit the target and not the car park behind the ground. A couple of decent full-backs would be nice, but not priority. A left-sided midfielder/winger capable of taking on and beating a defender and also capable of putting in the occasional decent cross would also be nice.

    And that's just the minimum requirement - so not much needed at all..."
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Appleton keen to bolster U's 'young' squad

Oxford United’s new head cocach, Michael Appleton, listens to the club’s head of sports   science, Alasdair Lane, at his first training session yesterday

Oxford United’s new head cocach, Michael Appleton, listens to the club’s head of sports science, Alasdair Lane, at his first training session yesterday

First published in Headlines Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Chief Sports Reporter covering Oxford United. Follow us on twitter: @oxfordmailoufc. Call me on 01865 425458

New Oxford United head coach Michael Appleton is looking to sign players with nous and experience to bolster the squad he has inherited.

A quiet summer has seen only striker Danny Hylton join so far, but plenty of activity is expected between now and the start of the season on Saturday, August 9.

Appleton was brought in to replace Gary Waddock on Friday, and incoming chairman Darryl Eales has agreed to make funds available to strengthen the playing squad.

While it will not be a spending spree, several new faces are expected.

Appleton, who began work yesterday, will assess the players this week, but has an idea of where improvements can be made.

He said: “I think we’ve got a very young squad.

“Youth will certainly take you to certain areas of where you want to get to performance-wise.

“But sometimes you need a little bit of nous and experience.

“If we can get that balance and mix right then hopefully it will bode well.”

The 38-year-old has targets in mind, although at this stage he does not have an idea how many players are needed.

“Who knows, that’s for me to sit down with the staff over the next couple of days and identify as soon as possible the main areas we need to strengthen quickly,” he said.

“Once we get the main areas sorted out we might even look to add even more.

“Obviously I have a list of certain players, but I’m sure the football club have a list as well that they’ve been identifying over the summer.

“We want to try and get a few players in as soon as possible to hopefully support the players we’ve got already.”

Appleton is keen to move swiftly, with the start of the new season less than five weeks away.

The U’s boss admitted they were playing catch-up on the rest of Sky Bet League Two.

But he believes an excellent contacts book will help.

He said: “Under normal circumstances as a manager if you were preparing for the following season you would start in April.

“It is a disadvantage, but I’d like to think the contacts I have, Mark (Ashton, chief executive) has and the other coaching staff here have, we’ll be able to add some real quality players towards what we’ve already got.”

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Oxford Mail: Matt Bevans is urging his Oxford United side to cut out the bad errors and return to winning ways at Dagenham today

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Oxford Mail:

9:00am Tuesday 21st October 2014

Michael Appleton has urged Oxford United to make the most of an opportunity this week to end their wait for an away win.

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8:00am Tuesday 21st October 2014

Michael Collins says Oxford United’s thrashing on their last away trip will act as a powerful motivation to get a positive result at Sixfields tonight.

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Oxford Mail:

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9:30am Monday 20th October 2014

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Oxford United's Bevans has knee surgery

Oxford Mail: Matt Bevans is urging his Oxford United side to cut out the bad errors and return to winning ways at Dagenham today

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Oxford Mail:

9:00am Tuesday 21st October 2014

Michael Appleton has urged Oxford United to make the most of an opportunity this week to end their wait for an away win.

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Michael Vaughan added a sprinkling of celebrity stardust as the Cherwell League celebrated reaching a milestone in style at Oxford’s Kassam Stadium.

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Oxford Mail:

8:00am Tuesday 21st October 2014

Michael Collins says Oxford United’s thrashing on their last away trip will act as a powerful motivation to get a positive result at Sixfields tonight.

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DARTS: Krabben stays on course for seventh ODDA crown

Oxford Mail: Men's champ Preben Krabben

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Preben Krabben stayed on course for a seventh singles title when he reached the quarter-finals of the Greene King ODDA Summer League men’s competition.

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