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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.”

Michael Appleton optimistic Oxford United's form can be transferred to next season

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Tuesday 5th May 2015

Michael Appleton is confident Oxford United’s strong form at the end of the season can be translated into prolonged success across the whole of the next campaign.

Oxford United boss Michael Appleton says the season finished too early

Oxford Mail:

12:20pm Monday 4th May 2015

Michael Appleton wished the end of the season was still a month away after Oxford United continued their strong form with a 1-0 win at Newport County.

Teenager Sam Humphreys so happy to make his U's debut

Oxford Mail:

12:10pm Monday 4th May 2015

Sam Humphreys was thrilled to finally make his senior debut for Oxford United, 12 years after joining the club.

Oxford United fans' chat

Oxford Mail:

12:00pm Monday 4th May 2015

Have your say on the main talking points at Oxford United in our final 60-minute interactive discussion of the season.

Oxford United stalwart Andy Whing hints at retirement

Oxford Mail:

11:50am Monday 4th May 2015

Andy Whing is contemplating hanging up his boots this summer, but the popular midfielder is in talks about staying at Oxford United in another role.

Michael Appleton optimistic Oxford United's form can be transferred to next season

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Tuesday 5th May 2015

Michael Appleton is confident Oxford United’s strong form at the end of the season can be translated into prolonged success across the whole of the next campaign.

RACING: Crack Of Thunder bolts in for in-form Charlie Longsdon

Oxford Mail: Charlie Longsdon

8:00am Tuesday 5th May 2015

Crack Of Thunder continued Chipping Norton trainer Charlie Longsdon’s sparkling start to the new jumps season with victory at Warwick yesterday.

DARTS: Jon Jukes keeps seventh title hopes alive by reaching strong quarter-final line-up

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Tuesday 5th May 2015

THE play-offs for the ODDA Winter men’s singles title produced a strong final eight.

CRICKET: Horspath hammer arch rivals Oxford in ECB Twenty20 Cup

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Tuesday 5th May 2015

Horspath cruised to an eight-wicket win over local rivals Oxford in the ECB Twenty20 Cup first round at Roman Way yesterday.

FOOTBALL: Ardley United enjoy sweet revenge over Ascot United to gain cup clory

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Tuesday 5th May 2015

Ardley United avenged last season’s defeat by Ascot United in the Bluefin Sports Challenge Cup final with a 2-0 victory in this year’s decider at Didcot Town’s Loop Meadow Stadium yesterday.

RUGBY UNION: Matt Corker set for a ninth campaign with London Welsh

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Tuesday 5th May 2015

Club captain Matt Corker says he is looking forward to learning from the tough lessons relegated London Welsh have learnt in the Aviva Premiership after he signed a new deal yesterday.

RUGBY UNION: Oxfordshire head coach Craig Burrows delighted with clinical first victory

Oxford Mail:

7:20am Tuesday 5th May 2015

CRAIG Burrows said he could not have asked for a better start to Oxfordshire’s County Championship Shield campaign after he watched his side demolish Berkshire 59-27.

GOLF: Tadmarton Heath duo one step from Glenagles trip

Oxford Mail: golf generic

7:00am Tuesday 5th May 2015

TADMARTON Heath pair Andy Greig and John Stubbs are one step away from reaching the Lombard Trophy final at Gleneagles.

RUGBY UNION: Nine-try Oxfordshire punish Berkshire in County Championship Shield opener

Oxford Mail:

7:00am Tuesday 5th May 2015

OXFORDSHIRE kick-started their County Championship Shield campaign with a commanding 59-27 win over Berkshire at Chipping Norton on Saturday.

RUGBY LEAGUE: Spirited Oxford suffer defeat at in-form Newcastle Thunder

Oxford Mail: rugby generic

6:30am Tuesday 5th May 2015

OXFORD Rugby League were condemned to their third loss of the season as they went down to a battling 36-20 defeat at high-flying Newcastle Thunder in Kingstone Press League 1.

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