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

Morris cuts short Oxford United loan and returns to Norwich City

Oxford Mail:

12:30pm Thursday 23rd October 2014

CARLTON Morris has ended his loan at Oxford United and returned to parent club Norwich City.

Update: Caterham F1 staff have been locked out of West Oxfordshire base

Oxford Mail:

10:50am Thursday 23rd October 2014

THERE are reports Caterham F1 staff have been locked out of the West Oxfordshire site this morning.

Hot-shot Danny Hylton on a high at Oxford United

Oxford Mail:

9:30am Thursday 23rd October 2014

DANNY Hylton thinks he is playing the best football of his career after a brace for Oxford United on Tuesday night made it ten goals for the season already.

ICE HOCKEY: Stars slip to double defeat

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Thursday 23rd October 2014

Oxford City Stars remain rooted to the foot of the South Division 1 table after suffering back-to-back defeats.

ATHLETICS: 'Retired' Yamauchi shines

Oxford Mail: Mara Yamauchi

8:00am Thursday 23rd October 2014

Oxford's Mara Yamauchi showed she is not taking her retirement too lightly with an impressive display at the Cabbage Patch 10 in Twickenham.

ATHLETICS: Comeback queen Sophie Carter regains Abingdon Marathon crown

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Thursday 23rd October 2014

Sophie Carter showed her injury problems were fully behind her with a dominant victory at the Milton Park Abingdon Marathon.

James Lewis hoping London Welsh win can ignite season

Oxford Mail:

7:50am Thursday 23rd October 2014

JAMES Lewis says a first win will make all the difference to London Welsh’s season.

RUGBY UNION: Ferguson: London Welsh should expect big physical test

Oxford Mail:

7:00am Thursday 23rd October 2014

Matt Ferguson says London Welsh must be prepared for a huge physical battle if they are to finally break their duck tonight.

RUGBY UNION: Flanker Jones eyes Wasps pro deal

Oxford Mail:

7:00am Thursday 23rd October 2014

Oxford University flanker Gus Jones is determined to make a career with their most recent opponents Wasps.

RUGBY LEAGUE: Oxford open up with trip to new boys

Oxford Mail: rugby generic

7:00am Thursday 23rd October 2014

Oxford RL will visit newcomers Coventry Bears in their opening game of the 2015 Kingstone Press League 1 season.

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