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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 U's News 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.”

Confident Hoskins out to repay Oxford United's faith with goals

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Friday 29th August 2014

AFTER spending 18 months away from competitive football, Oxford United’s newest signing may be short on match fitness, but there is one commodity he does not lack – self-belief.

Ruffels eyes payback for Dagenham's bizarre winner

Oxford Mail:

8:40am Friday 29th August 2014

JOSH Ruffels is hoping Oxford United get a change of fortune as they attempt to get off the mark tomorrow.

United boss Appleton's dilemma on Hoskins

Oxford Mail:

8:30am Friday 29th August 2014

Will Hoskins is set to make his Oxford United home debut against Dagenham & Redbridge tomorrow, but head coach Michael Appleton has not yet decided whether the striker will start.

Daggers boss not fooled by Oxford United's league position

Oxford Mail:

8:30am Friday 29th August 2014

DAGENHAM & Redbridge boss Wayne Burnett is reading nothing into Oxford United’s position at the foot of the Sky Bet League Two table ahead of their trip to the Kassam Stadium tomorrow.

Newey - striking first blow key for Oxford United

Oxford Mail:

8:20am Friday 29th August 2014

TOM Newey says Oxford United would go a long way to turning their form around by scoring the first goal when they host Dagenham & Redbridge tomorrow.

Confident Hoskins out to repay Oxford United's faith with goals

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Friday 29th August 2014

AFTER spending 18 months away from competitive football, Oxford United’s newest signing may be short on match fitness, but there is one commodity he does not lack – self-belief.

Ruffels eyes payback for Dagenham's bizarre winner

Oxford Mail:

8:40am Friday 29th August 2014

JOSH Ruffels is hoping Oxford United get a change of fortune as they attempt to get off the mark tomorrow.

Daggers boss not fooled by Oxford United's league position

Oxford Mail:

8:30am Friday 29th August 2014

DAGENHAM & Redbridge boss Wayne Burnett is reading nothing into Oxford United’s position at the foot of the Sky Bet League Two table ahead of their trip to the Kassam Stadium tomorrow.

United boss Appleton's dilemma on Hoskins

Oxford Mail:

8:30am Friday 29th August 2014

Will Hoskins is set to make his Oxford United home debut against Dagenham & Redbridge tomorrow, but head coach Michael Appleton has not yet decided whether the striker will start.

Newey - striking first blow key for Oxford United

Oxford Mail:

8:20am Friday 29th August 2014

TOM Newey says Oxford United would go a long way to turning their form around by scoring the first goal when they host Dagenham & Redbridge tomorrow.

CRICKET: Rowant positive for showdown against Henley

Oxford Mail: Aston Rowant opener Chris Watling plays on against Dinton

8:00am Friday 29th August 2014

Aston Rowant are confident they can beat Serious Cricket Home Counties Premier League Division 1 title favourites Henley at Butts Way tomorrow and boost their survival hopes.

Oxford United fourth in agent fees league table

Oxford Mail: oxford united logo 1200pix

8:00am Friday 29th August 2014

OXFORD United spent the fourth highest amount on agent fees in Sky Bet League Two last season.

FOOTBALL: Davis expects big changes at Banbury

Oxford Mail: Keeper Leigh Bedwell

8:00am Friday 29th August 2014

Paul Davis says he is well aware of the huge job he faces as Banbury United’s interim manager.

FOOTBALL: Abingdon Town ready for North Berks return

Oxford Mail:

7:00am Friday 29th August 2014

Abingdon Town will return to the North Berks League for the first time in 75 years tomorrow as they host Wallingford Town on the opening day of the season, writes Matthew Bruce.

FOOTBALL: Ackling: "We're on a loser"

Oxford Mail:

7:00am Friday 29th August 2014

Wantage Town boss Gary Ackling admits tonight’s FA Cup preliminary round tie at home to Kidlington is “a bit of a nightmare”.

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