Oxford United boss sets deadline for new signings

Michael Collins

Michael Collins

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

HEAD coach Michael Appleton wants to get most of Oxford United’s summer signings completed before they face Wolverhampton Wanderers next week.

The boss compared their efforts to seal deals to a “chess match”, but he will be disappointed if the work does not yield several results in the next few days.

Only midfielder Michael Collins has come in since Appleton arrived on July 7.

Next week, United’s pre-season goes up a notch as Wolves visit the Kassam Stadium on Tuesday, before Bournemouth arrive four days later.

And Appleton is keen to have most of the squad in place before then, to give them the best chance of being ready for the season’s start on August 9.

“In an ideal world, I’d want the majority of players I want to bring in before the Wolves game,” Appleton said.

“That becomes the really serious part of pre-season, we’re going to come up against two sides who have vast experience of Championship football.

“They have two completely different styles, so it’s going to be a really good challenge.

“By the time we get to those two games, I want to make sure I’ve got a good balance and a good mix to choose from.

“I’m feeling very confident about it (completing the signings), but you just don’t know.

“I would be a bit disappointed if we don’t, because we’re working ever so hard to make it happen.”

Adding firepower was already a priority for United, and their need only increased in the wake of Dave Kitson’s retirement.

Appleton, who is looking at long-term loans in addition to permanent deals, said: “We are short, and if we’re going to go with three up there, we’re going to need two or three additions.

“We are in a chess match with a lot of people at the minute.

“That doesn’t mean there’s a problem, it’s just at the end of the day the deal has to be right for all parties.”

The squad return from their four-day camp at Bisham Abbey today.

While training has not changed, Appleton viewed the trip as extremely worthwhile.

He said: “It’s been an opportunity to get to know the players a bit better.”

A youthful United side are in action at Abingdon Town tonight (7.30).

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Comments (5)

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12:32pm Thu 24 Jul 14

dave from witney says...

“In an ideal world, I’d want the majority of players I want to bring in before the Wolves game,” Appleton said.

An ideal situation, would have been to have had new players at Bisham this week to bond with the those left from last year. It is getting a bit worrying, Appleton said last week he expected a new face for Didcot, then he expected someone to join the squad at the training camp. Now he is hoping for results by next tuesday. Still have faith, but it is getting very close to the start of the season now.
“In an ideal world, I’d want the majority of players I want to bring in before the Wolves game,” Appleton said. An ideal situation, would have been to have had new players at Bisham this week to bond with the those left from last year. It is getting a bit worrying, Appleton said last week he expected a new face for Didcot, then he expected someone to join the squad at the training camp. Now he is hoping for results by next tuesday. Still have faith, but it is getting very close to the start of the season now. dave from witney
  • Score: 6

1:19pm Thu 24 Jul 14

dorsetbob says...

To state the obvious, we need STRIKERS, otherwise so far the manager done the right things and i am happy with the situation
To state the obvious, we need STRIKERS, otherwise so far the manager done the right things and i am happy with the situation dorsetbob
  • Score: 16

4:15pm Thu 24 Jul 14

oldun says...

Vital to vastly improve this squad - four players who will walk into the staring line up are desperately needed . No drossy panic buys please
Vital to vastly improve this squad - four players who will walk into the staring line up are desperately needed . No drossy panic buys please oldun
  • Score: 4

6:12pm Thu 24 Jul 14

LeagueOneOx says...

Have we signed "King" George Long - a very good young
'keeper?
Have we signed "King" George Long - a very good young 'keeper? LeagueOneOx
  • Score: 1

12:43pm Fri 25 Jul 14

Eraser says...

Appleton wanted to sign someone before the Wolves game who knew where the goal was! Can't argue that Long doesn't fit that bill...
:-)
Appleton wanted to sign someone before the Wolves game who knew where the goal was! Can't argue that Long doesn't fit that bill... :-) Eraser
  • Score: 0

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