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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.”

Carlisle Utd 2 (Beck 73, Asamoah 89), Oxford Utd 1 (Hylton 45)

Oxford Mail: oxford united logo 1200pix

4:56pm Saturday 25th October 2014

OXFORD United's hopes of three wins in eight days were dashed as they came unstuck at Carlisle United.

Updates - Carlisle Utd v Oxford Utd

Oxford Mail: oxford united logo 1200pix

1:55pm Saturday 25th October 2014

All the news from Oxford United's visit to Carlisle United in Sky Bet League Two.

FOOTBALL: Rose wants to keep Oxford United climbing

Oxford Mail:

9:30am Saturday 25th October 2014

Danny Rose is targeting a move into mid-table today as Oxford United visit Carlisle United in search of a third win in eight days.

FOOTBALL: Oxford United boss Appleton confident his team will be fighting fit

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Saturday 25th October 2014

Michael Appleton is confident a sickness bug which has affected the Oxford United squad will not have an impact on selection against Carlisle United today.

Collins: Whing's return has boosted everyone at Oxford United

Oxford Mail:

11:30am Friday 24th October 2014

THE presence of Andy Whing back in the Oxford United side has prompted other players to raise their game, according to Michael Collins.

Carlisle Utd 2 (Beck 73, Asamoah 89), Oxford Utd 1 (Hylton 45)

Oxford Mail: oxford united logo 1200pix

4:56pm Saturday 25th October 2014

OXFORD United's hopes of three wins in eight days were dashed as they came unstuck at Carlisle United.

Updates - Carlisle Utd v Oxford Utd

Oxford Mail: oxford united logo 1200pix

1:55pm Saturday 25th October 2014

All the news from Oxford United's visit to Carlisle United in Sky Bet League Two.

FOOTBALL: Rose wants to keep Oxford United climbing

Oxford Mail:

9:30am Saturday 25th October 2014

Danny Rose is targeting a move into mid-table today as Oxford United visit Carlisle United in search of a third win in eight days.

FOOTBALL: Oxford United boss Appleton confident his team will be fighting fit

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Saturday 25th October 2014

Michael Appleton is confident a sickness bug which has affected the Oxford United squad will not have an impact on selection against Carlisle United today.

SWIMMING: Murphy close to beating brother's national record

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Saturday 25th October 2014

BRITSH GAS NATIONAL TEAM CHAMPIONSHIPS

MOTORSPORT: Powell targets Snetterton victory

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Saturday 25th October 2014

F3 CUP

FOOTBALL: Oxford United women looking to finish season on a high

Oxford Mail: U's skipper Sahara Osborne-Ricketts

8:00am Saturday 25th October 2014

Captain Sahara Osborne-Ricketts is looking to end their league season on a high as Oxford United host Aston Villa tomorrow (2pm) at Abingdon United’s Northcourt Road, writes Matthew Bruce.

MOTORSPORT: Polden third in finale at Brands Hatch

Oxford Mail:

7:00am Saturday 25th October 2014

MOTUL MOTOSTAR BRITISH CHAMPIONSHIP

MOTORSPORT: Messenger bags a brace

Oxford Mail:

7:00am Saturday 25th October 2014

ALFA ROMEO CHAMPIONSHIP

ICE HOCKEY: Struggling Stars get double tonic

Oxford Mail:

7:00am Saturday 25th October 2014

ENGLISH NATIONAL LEAGUE

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