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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.”

Newey: Oxford United are doing it right

Oxford Mail:

9:30am Friday 19th September 2014

TOM Newey hopes Oxford United’s supporters will embrace the side’s progressive style after seeing them make it work for the first time at the Kassam Stadium.

Joining Oxford United's 'project' offers new chapter in life of Brian

Oxford Mail:

9:20am Friday 19th September 2014

HIS varied CV may include a spell at arch rivals Swindon Town, but Brian Howard’s debut for Oxford United should have gone a long way to convince any doubters not to hold it against him.

Fazackerley: Oxford United boss has managed with testing start well

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Friday 19th September 2014

DEREK Fazackerley says he has been impressed by the way Michael Appleton has dealt with a challenging start to life as Oxford United’s head coach.

Collins thankful for Oxford United support after family emergency

Oxford Mail:

8:50am Friday 19th September 2014

MICHAEL Collins says he was moved by the support from Oxford United’s fans and staff during a difficult time earlier this month.

Westley wary of Oxford United as the rivalry with Stevenage resumes

Oxford Mail:

8:40am Friday 19th September 2014

GRAHAM Westley believes Oxford United’s new signings will help to make life difficult for Stevenage tomorrow.

RUGBY UNION: Britton, Schofield and Down return for London Welsh

Oxford Mail:

3:40pm Friday 19th September 2014

LONDON Welsh head coach Justin Burnell has shuffled his pack for today’s Aviva Premiership clash with Sale Sharks at the AJ Bell Stadium (2).

Newey: Oxford United are doing it right

Oxford Mail:

9:30am Friday 19th September 2014

TOM Newey hopes Oxford United’s supporters will embrace the side’s progressive style after seeing them make it work for the first time at the Kassam Stadium.

Joining Oxford United's 'project' offers new chapter in life of Brian

Oxford Mail:

9:20am Friday 19th September 2014

HIS varied CV may include a spell at arch rivals Swindon Town, but Brian Howard’s debut for Oxford United should have gone a long way to convince any doubters not to hold it against him.

Fazackerley: Oxford United boss has managed with testing start well

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Friday 19th September 2014

DEREK Fazackerley says he has been impressed by the way Michael Appleton has dealt with a challenging start to life as Oxford United’s head coach.

AWARDS: Your chance to nominate best in local talent

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Friday 19th September 2014

NOMINATIONS for the 2014 Oxfordshire Sports Awards open today.

Collins thankful for Oxford United support after family emergency

Oxford Mail:

8:50am Friday 19th September 2014

MICHAEL Collins says he was moved by the support from Oxford United’s fans and staff during a difficult time earlier this month.

Westley wary of Oxford United as the rivalry with Stevenage resumes

Oxford Mail:

8:40am Friday 19th September 2014

GRAHAM Westley believes Oxford United’s new signings will help to make life difficult for Stevenage tomorrow.

Boost as Oxford United striker avoids surgeon's knife

Oxford Mail:

8:40am Friday 19th September 2014

WILL Hoskins could face a shorter lay-off with a groin injury than feared after a specialist advised surgery was not needed.

RUGBY UNION: Witney pay tribute to ex-captain Richens

Oxford Mail: rugby generic

8:00am Friday 19th September 2014

WITNEY'S game at home to Buckingham in South West 1 East tomorrow promises to be an emotional occasion following the sudden death of former captain Doug Richens.

FOOTBALL: Gee looking to Cook for missing ingredient

Oxford Mail: North Leigh boss Mark Gee after Saturday's win over Havant

8:00am Friday 19th September 2014

North Leigh boss Mark Gee has hailed the capture of Jamie Cook from Oxford City.

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