Oxford MailOxford United must play with no fear, says new boss (From Oxford Mail)

Get involved: send your photos, videos, news & views by texting OXFORD NEWS to 80360 or email us

Report this comment
  • "I meant to say the 666 betting advert"
  • This field is mandatory
  • This field is mandatory
  • Please note we will not accept reports with HTML tags or URLs in them.


  • Enter the above word in the box below

Oxford United must play with no fear, says new boss

Oxford Mail: Michael Appleton Michael Appleton

MICHAEL Appleton used his first meeting with Oxford United’s players to call for them to stick to their strengths and play without fear.

The new head coach is well aware time is of the essence after starting work on Monday, just over a month before the start of the Sky Bet League Two season.

He is keen to bring in new players quickly, but also wants to get to know those already at the club.

Appleton spoke briefly to the squad to lay out his plans, and the former Portsmouth and Blackburn boss intends to lead by example.

He said: “I told them there’s going to be no Robert de Niro speeches. You’ll know what my qualities are and you’ll see what I’m about over the next days, weeks and months with the professionalism I bring to the party.

“I expect them over a period of time to come and introduce themselves to me and tell me about themselves.

“That’s how I work. I always have an open door and I’m quite an easy guy to get on with as long as you do your job properly.

“I just want the players to express themselves.

“Whatever qualities they bring to the team – do it without fear.

“Whether you’re someone who defends well, a good passer or like to attack people, stick to your strengths and relax.”

Dave Kitson is the only U’s player who has worked with Appleton before, when the pair were at Fratton Park during the 2011-12 season.

The rest will have to learn how the new boss wants to play, their first outing coming with the start of the pre-season games at Farnborough this Saturday.

Appleton believes his sides have a track record of attractive football but also acknowledged there was a need to be pragmatic.

He said: “Most people are going to say ‘I want an open brand of football’.

“They use all the right words and to be fair, with 90 per cent of them, that is what they want.

“With my background I think the majority of sides I’ve been with have always played good football.

“But on the other hand, you have to find a way to win.

“There will be occasions between November and January where the weather isn’t fantastic and there will be situations where we need to find a way to win when we’ll have our backs to the wall.

“Hopefully we have enough personalities and strength of character to do that.”

Latest Sport news

BRADLEY SMITH'S VIEWS: Brno is in the past, let's get ready for Silverstone

Oxford Mail:

3:00pm Thursday 21st August 2014

No good dwelling on the Brno result and unfortunately it seems to be the way my season has panned out, but it certainly keeps me focused and ready for Silverstone.

LONDON WELSH: Olly Barkley backs Exiles to surprise this season

Oxford Mail:

9:30am Thursday 21st August 2014

LONDON Welsh are not just in the Aviva Premiership this season to make up the numbers.

Oxford United boss admits results could put off some targets

Oxford Mail:

9:20am Thursday 21st August 2014

MICHAEL Appleton admits Oxford United’s losing start to the Sky Bet League Two season could have an effect on their search to attract players before the end of the transfer window.

BAR BILLIARDS: Patey stars at the double

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

8:00am Thursday 21st August 2014

John Patey led the way for West Oxford Democrats Club in their 4½-1½ win over Vikings in Group A of the Oxford Summer League, writes PETE EWINS.

BOWLS: Ley and Petersen denied in national agony

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Thursday 21st August 2014

Oxfordshire's Alan Ley and Mike Petersen suffered an agonising 20-18 defeat in the Bowls England Men’s National Senior Pairs Championship final at Royal Leamington Spa.

RUGBY UNION: Tombleson is 'significant' appointment for England

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Thursday 21st August 2014

TRIPLE Oxford Blue Tom Tombleson has been appointed as England’s strength and conditioning coach.

BOWLS: Oxon veteran Ley reaches 800-game milestone

Oxford Mail: image of bowls close up of bowling woods and jack for sport

8:00am Thursday 21st August 2014

Oxford City & County’s Alan Ley chalked up another landmark with his 800th game for Oxfordshire in their 129-89 win over Buckinghamshire in a friendly at Long Crendon.

BOWLS: Headington to face City & County in final

Oxford Mail: Headington’s Jason King kept up his impressive record in the win over Oxford City & County A

8:00am Thursday 21st August 2014

Headington A will face Oxford City & County A in the Oxford & District League Cup final for the third time in four years.

CRICKET: Barbados dream over for Rowant

Oxford Mail: Wesley Morrick

8:00am Thursday 21st August 2014

Aston Rowant’s dreams of a trip to the Caribbean were dashed as they fell to an agonising six-run home defeat against Reigate Priory in the Barbados & Smile Group Travel Cup semi-final.

BOWLS: Central duo's challenge flounders in last four

Oxford Mail: image of bowls close up of bowling woods and jack for sport

8:00am Thursday 21st August 2014

Oxfordshire's Carole Galletly and Caroline Campion reached the Bowls England Women’s National Pairs Championship semi-finals before seeing their title dreams shattered.

Local Businesses

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree