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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

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.”

Oxford United foiled on deadline day

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Tuesday 2nd September 2014

Michael Appleton is determined to do his shopping earlier next summer after Oxford United were unable to land their top target before the transfer window shut last night.

Raynes sets sights on return in trophy tie

Oxford Mail: Michael Raynes is one of four U’s players to grow their hair to raise money for charity

8:00am Tuesday 2nd September 2014

Michael Raynes is among the Oxford United players hoping to benefit from a run-out in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy at Cheltenham Town tonight (7.45).

Oxford United: Deadline day update

Oxford Mail:

12:10pm Monday 1st September 2014

MICHAEL Appleton says Oxford United are in advanced talks with their top target, but there are no guarantees a deal will be finalised before the deadline closes tonight.

VIDEO: Highlights from Oxford United's draw with Dagenham

Oxford Mail: oxford united logo 1200pix

11:24am Monday 1st September 2014

Oxford United got off the mark in Sky Bet League Two with a 3-3 draw at home to Dagenham & Redbridge on Saturday.

Dagenham draw leaves Oxford United boss with mixed emotions

Oxford Mail:

9:30am Monday 1st September 2014

MICHAEL Appleton admitted he had never seen a game so wide open as Oxford United got off the mark with a topsy-turvy 3-3 draw at home to Dagenham & Redbridge.

Oxford United foiled on deadline day

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Tuesday 2nd September 2014

Michael Appleton is determined to do his shopping earlier next summer after Oxford United were unable to land their top target before the transfer window shut last night.

DARTS: Maximum men lead the way

8:00am Tuesday 2nd September 2014

IN a week of high-scoring, 20 players recorded maximums in the Men’s Summer League, with five of them doing it twice.

RUGBY LEAGUE: Oxford sting Scorpions with last-minute winner

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Tuesday 2nd September 2014

KINGSTONE PRESS CHAMPIONSHIP ONE

CRICKET: Vaughan is star turn for Cherwell dinner

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Tuesday 2nd September 2014

Michael Vaughan, who captained England to their 2005 Ashes triumph, will be the guest speaker at the Cherwell League’s 40th anniversary presentation dinner at Oxford’s Kassam Stadium on Saturday, October 18.

Raynes sets sights on return in trophy tie

Oxford Mail: Michael Raynes is one of four U’s players to grow their hair to raise money for charity

8:00am Tuesday 2nd September 2014

Michael Raynes is among the Oxford United players hoping to benefit from a run-out in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy at Cheltenham Town tonight (7.45).

PARALYMPIC SPORT: Tipton turns it around to see Britain home

Oxford Mail:

7:00am Tuesday 2nd September 2014

Anna Tipton, from Didcot, was Britain’s hero as they came from behind to beat Belgium in their goalball international on Saturday, writes STUART WEIR.

DARTS: New-look facing long trip in opener

Oxford Mail: Preben Krabben had a 12-dart finish

7:00am Tuesday 2nd September 2014

Oxfordshire, who were relegated from the Premier Division last season, start their Division 1 campaign with a long trip to take on County Durham this weekend.

FOOTBALL: United sunk by Wiltshire treble

Oxford Mail: football generic

7:00am Tuesday 2nd September 2014

FA WOMEN’S SUPER LEAGUE 2

GOLF: Hole-in-one double joy

Oxford Mail: golf generic

6:00am Tuesday 2nd September 2014

The 16th hole at North Oxford saw two aces last week.

PARALYMPIC SPORT:: Bubbling Rosie is back in the swim

Oxford Mail:

6:00am Tuesday 2nd September 2014

Oxford's Rosie Bancroft openly admits 2014 has been the worst year of her swimming career, but she believes things are finally starting to fall into place after an outing at the Olympic pool in London.

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