Report this comment
  • "Here's the advert:
    http://www.tellyads.
    com/show_movie.php?f
    ilename=TA18086"
  • 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

Oxford United sign loan deal for England Under 21 goalkeeper George Long

Oxford Mail:

12:10pm Friday 25th July 2014

OXFORD United have signed highly-rated goalkeeper George Long on loan from Sheffield United until January.

COMMONWEALTH GAMES: Rivers reaches final with record score

Oxford Mail:

11:57am Friday 25th July 2014

DIDCOT’S Dan Rivers has qualfied for this afternoon’s men’s 10m air rifle final at Glasgow 2014 with a Commonwealth Games record score.

RUGBY UNION: London Welsh open cup campaign at Bath

Oxford Mail: London Welsh are staying at the Kassam

11:40am Friday 25th July 2014

LONDON Welsh will open their LV= Cup campaign by taking on Bath at the Rec on the weekend of October 31, November 1-2.

Crocombe striving to be spot-on at Oxford United

Oxford Mail:

9:30am Friday 25th July 2014

Max keeping it simple in order to impress

HOCKEY: Shipperley on a high as England start with win

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Friday 25th July 2014

ZOE Shipperley described her Commonwealth Games debut as unreal after helping England beat Wales 2-0 in their women’s hockey opener, writes STUART WEIR.

TENNIS: Oxfordshire men on brink of promotion

Oxford Mail: tennis racket hitting ball for sport

8:30am Friday 25th July 2014

OXFORDSHIRE’S men are on the brink of promotion from Group 5 after a thrilling 5-4 success over Durham & Cleveland at West Worthing yesterday.

CRICKET: Banbury enjoy Twenty 20 vision

Oxford Mail: Jimmy Phillips

8:20am Friday 25th July 2014

Banbury captain Jimmy Phillips believes they are well-placed for another decent run in the ECB National Club Twenty20 competition.

ROWING: Headington girls storm in for Britain

8:00am Friday 25th July 2014

Headington School rowers are still celebrating after starring for Great Britain in a junior international match against France at Nantes.

ROWING: National medals for Wallingford crews

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Friday 25th July 2014

Two Wallingford RC crews won bronzes medals in the British Junior Championships at Nottingham.

CRICKET: Promotion would be amazing, says Eason

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Friday 25th July 2014

Horspath captain Will Eason says it would be remarkable achievement if they can secure promotion from Serious Cricket Home Counties Premier League Division 2.

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