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.”

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5:34pm Saturday 28th February 2015

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Oxford Mail: oxford united logo 1200pix

4:53pm Saturday 28th February 2015

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Oxford Mail: oxford united logo 1200pix

6:40am Saturday 28th February 2015

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While Gary Waddock’s time in charge at Oxford United was brief, it produced one clear benefit which has helped the side this season.

Who was Oxford United's man of the match at Portsmouth?

Oxford Mail: oxford united logo 1200pix

5:34pm Saturday 28th February 2015

Portsmouth 0, Oxford Utd 0

Oxford Mail: oxford united logo 1200pix

4:53pm Saturday 28th February 2015

OXFORD United ground out a valuable point as they held in-form Portsmouth to a goalless draw at Fratton Park.

Updates - Portsmouth v Oxford Utd

Oxford Mail:

1:55pm Saturday 28th February 2015

All the news from Oxford United's trip to Fratton Park in Sky Bet League Two.

Johnny Mullins calls for a repeat show when Oxford United travel to Portsmouth

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9:30am Saturday 28th February 2015

JOHNNY Mullins says memories of last season’s terrific win at Portsmouth will be in his mind as Oxford United attempt to pull off a repeat this afternoon.

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ICE HOCKEY: Mike Whillock in Oxford City Stars boost

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BIATHLON: Talented teenager Rees-Lay lands treble gold medal haul

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8:00am Saturday 28th February 2015

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Comments (1)

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8:25am Tue 8 Jul 14

Manor Born says...

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...
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... Manor Born
  • Score: 10

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