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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 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.”

VIDEO: Highlights and reaction from Oxford United's draw with AFC Wimbledon

Oxford Mail:

11:00am Monday 24th November 2014

OXFORD United were unable to break down a well-organised AFC Wimbledon side during their goalless draw at the Kassam Stadium on Saturday.

What's in our interactive back page today?

Oxford Mail:

10:43am Monday 24th November 2014

Explore your way around our interactive back page - eight links for your best local sports coverage, including our Oxford United match picture gallery. And there's video highlights from U's clash with AFC Wimbledon as well..

Alfie Potter hoping injury to James Roberts is not too serious

Oxford Mail:

9:30am Monday 24th November 2014

ALFIE Potter admitted it was a big blow for everyone at Oxford United to see James Roberts limp off on Saturday.

Oxford United head coach has mixed feelings after goalless draw

Oxford Mail:

8:40am Monday 24th November 2014

MICHAEL Appleton refused to be too downbeat and instead praised the way Oxford United stuck to the game plan as they drew a blank against AFC Wimbledon.

Andy Whing delighted at shutting out Adebayo Akinfenwa threat

Oxford Mail:

7:40am Monday 24th November 2014

ANDY Whing relished playing his part in restricting Adebayo Akinfenwa’s impact as Oxford United shared a goalless draw with AFC Wimbledon.

FOOTBALL: Abingdon United handed a home draw in FA Vase

Oxford Mail: football generic

12:48pm Monday 24th November 2014

Abingdon United host Hassocks or Ashford United (Kent) in the FA Vase 3rd round proper, if they win at Littlehampton in Wednesday's replay.

Oxford United fans' chat

Oxford Mail:

12:00pm Monday 24th November 2014

Have your say on the main talking points at Oxford United in our 60-minute interactive discussion from 12 noon.

VIDEO: Highlights and reaction from Oxford United's draw with AFC Wimbledon

Oxford Mail:

11:00am Monday 24th November 2014

OXFORD United were unable to break down a well-organised AFC Wimbledon side during their goalless draw at the Kassam Stadium on Saturday.

What's in our interactive back page today?

Oxford Mail:

10:43am Monday 24th November 2014

Explore your way around our interactive back page - eight links for your best local sports coverage, including our Oxford United match picture gallery. And there's video highlights from U's clash with AFC Wimbledon as well..

Alfie Potter hoping injury to James Roberts is not too serious

Oxford Mail:

9:30am Monday 24th November 2014

ALFIE Potter admitted it was a big blow for everyone at Oxford United to see James Roberts limp off on Saturday.

FOOTBALL: Oxford City boss keeping in-form striker Adi Yussuf grounded

Oxford Mail:

9:20am Monday 24th November 2014

TOP scorer Adi Yussuf may have scored four times in his last two matches for Oxford City, but general manager Justin Merritt won’t let the striker get carried away, writes MATTHEW BRUCE.

Oxford United head coach has mixed feelings after goalless draw

Oxford Mail:

8:40am Monday 24th November 2014

MICHAEL Appleton refused to be too downbeat and instead praised the way Oxford United stuck to the game plan as they drew a blank against AFC Wimbledon.

RUGBY UNION: London Welsh coach Phillips has reasons to be positive

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Monday 24th November 2014

ROWLAND Phillips pointed to some encouraging signs, despite London Welsh slipping to a 12th straight defeat of the season.

FOOTBALL: Hat-trick hero John Mills clocks up Didcot Town milestone

Oxford Mail: football generic

7:50am Monday 24th November 2014

PROLIFIC scorer John Mills hit another hat-trick to bring up a career half-century of goals for Didcot Town in their emphatic win in Division 1 South & West.

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