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

Michael Appleton

Michael Appleton

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

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

Loan has made Max Crocombe a different player, says Oxford United boss

Oxford Mail:

2:00pm Friday 17th April 2015

A LOAN spell in non-league is doing Max Crocombe the world of good, according to Oxford United head coach Michael Appleton.

Johnny Mullins: Only fair for Chey Dunkley to feature in Oxford United's run-in

Oxford Mail:

12:00pm Friday 17th April 2015

JOHNNY Mullins says he would understand if Oxford United boss Michael Appleton rested him at some stage in the remaining three games.

Interactive: 7 stories you need to read for Tranmere v Oxford United in our digital spread + video

Oxford Mail:

12:00pm Friday 17th April 2015

Get in the mood for kick-off with our digital big match preview

Oxford United debts rise by another £1.4m

Oxford Mail:

9:30am Friday 17th April 2015

Oxford United’s supporters should not be concerned by the latest set of accounts which show a loss of more than £1.4million, according to chief executive Mark Ashton.

Michael Appleton aims to make early decisions to shape Oxford United squad

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Friday 17th April 2015

THE campaign still has a fortnight to run, but planning for next season’s squad at Oxford United is well under way.

Patrick Hoban shows fan Irish hospitality to save Oxford United trip

Oxford Mail:

8:50am Friday 17th April 2015

PATRICK Hoban took out a supporter for dinner last weekend after they travelled over from Ireland only to see him limp off injured.

Tranmere Rovers boss calls for calm heads in pressurised Oxford United clash

Oxford Mail:

8:30am Friday 17th April 2015

MICKY Adams has called for his Tranmere Rovers players to keep their heads in tomorrow’s crucial clash at home to Oxford United.

Sam Long eyes the next step after reaching his Oxford United goal

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Friday 17th April 2015

WHILE it has been a disappointing season collectively for Oxford United, the brightest sparks have often come from the squad’s younger players.

RUGBY UNION: We are not putting our feet up, says Henley Hawks head coach Pete Davies

Oxford Mail:

7:40am Friday 17th April 2015

PETE Davies welcomes Henley Hawks’ tough climax to their National League 2 South season as good preparation for next year’s campaign in a higher division.

FOOTBALL: Paul Davis keeps faith in Banbury United’s mission improbable

Oxford Mail:

7:30am Friday 17th April 2015

BANBURY United manager Paul Davis is hopeful that, even if his side fail to pull themselves out of the Evo-Stik Southern League Premier Division relegation zone, they could still avoid the drop.

Comments (5)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

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