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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.”

Appleton aims to secure Oxford United safety over Easter

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Thursday 2nd April 2015

MICHAEL Appleton has challenged his Oxford United squad to banish their relegation concerns for good with a strong showing over the Easter weekend.

Oxford United's Max Crocombe made to wait for international debut

Oxford Mail:

11:20am Tuesday 31st March 2015

MAX Crocombe has been named on the bench for New Zealand's international friendly against the Korea Republic in Seoul today.

Patrick Hoban happy to reward Oxford United's faith

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Tuesday 31st March 2015

Patrick Hoban thanked boss Michael Appleton and his Oxford United teammates for keeping faith in him after the longest scoring drought of his career came to an end.

Oxford United to face depleted North Leigh outfit in Oxfordshire Senior Cup clash

Oxford Mail: Aaron Woodley put North Leigh 2-0 ahead

8:00am Tuesday 31st March 2015

North Leigh manager Mark Gee will have just 12 players to choose from for tonight’s Oxfordshire Senior Cup semi-final against Oxford United at Banbury’s Spencer Stadium (7.45).

Oxford United are shocked by minnows North Leigh

Oxford Mail: Morgan Williams netted a double in North Leigh's 7-0 win at Guildford City

11:14pm Tuesday 31st March 2015

North Leigh twice came from behind to beat Oxford United 3-2 to reach the Oxfordshire Senior Cup final.

Appleton aims to secure Oxford United safety over Easter

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Thursday 2nd April 2015

MICHAEL Appleton has challenged his Oxford United squad to banish their relegation concerns for good with a strong showing over the Easter weekend.

RUGBY UNION: Tears of joy as Grove clinch first Oxfordshire crown

Oxford Mail:

8:40am Thursday 2nd April 2015

HEAD coach Craig Burrows struggled for words after Grove were crowned Oxfordshire champions for the first time in their 43-year history.

CRICKET: Five handed first-class debuts in Worcestershire clash

Oxford Mail:

8:30am Thursday 2nd April 2015

OXFORD MCC Universities give first-class debuts to five players in their opening three-day game of the season against Worcestershire, which gets under way in The Parks today (11am).

FOOTBALL: Oxford City put up new stand to meet play-off rules

Oxford Mail:

8:20am Thursday 2nd April 2015

A NEW stand will be used for the first time when Oxford City host Boston United at Marsh Lane on Saturday.

RUGBY UNION: Dark Blues skipper aims for place in history books

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Thursday 2nd April 2015

NEW captain George Messum has pledged to dedicate himself to making history at Oxford University.

RACING: Coneygree to parade at Lambourn Open Day

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Thursday 2nd April 2015

Coneygree, the Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup winner, is to parade at the Betfair Lambourn Open Day tomorrow.

BAR BILLIARDS: Didcot put the Vikings to the sword

Oxford Mail: cue and cue ball for images of snooker and billards for sport

7:00am Thursday 2nd April 2015

DIDCOT Conservative Club lead Section 1 of the Johnsons Buildbase Oxford League by one point, with a game in hand.

RUGBY UNION: Chinnor youngsters enjoy double success

Oxford Mail:

7:00am Thursday 2nd April 2015

CHINNOR’s Under 15 and 17 sides are celebrating after both teams won silverware on Sunday.

ATHLETICS: James Bolton leaves field behind to win first White Horse Half Marathon crown

Oxford Mail:

6:30am Thursday 2nd April 2015

WOODSTOCK Harriers’ James Bolton continued his impressive form by storming to victory at the White Horse Half Marathon in Grove.

BOWLS: Martin Shepherd sparkles to land third Oxfordshire title

Oxford Mail:

6:00am Thursday 2nd April 2015

CHIPPING Norton’s Martin Shepherd won his third Oxfordshire indoor singles title with a 22-14 victory over clubmate John Cox in the final at Oxford City & County.

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