Riley signing is worth the risk - Oxford United boss

Joe Riley at Oxford United’s Roman Way training ground yesterday after signing on a six-month loan deal from Bolton Wanderers

Joe Riley at Oxford United’s Roman Way training ground yesterday after signing on a six-month loan deal from Bolton Wanderers

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

Signing Joe Riley for Oxford United was a “no-brainer” according to head coach Michael Appleton, despite the full back’s injury record.

The 22-year-old agreed a six-month loan from Bolton Wanderers yesterday and is in line to make his debut against Wolverhampton Wanderers tonight (7.45).

Riley made his Premier League debut three seasons ago, but a promising career has stalled due to injury problems.

The right back has not played a competitive game since January 2013 and missed the whole of last season with a cruciate ligament injury.

But Appleton, whose career was cut short by a knee injury, views it as an opportunity to sign a Championship-standard player who would otherwise have been out of United’s reach.

“Without a shadow of a doubt,” he said.

“He’s a lad who went into it very young and people were expecting big things from him, it’s just unfortunate he suffered an injury.

“If he hadn’t then he would probably have been a regular in the Championship for Bolton as we speak.

“There is a small risk that goes with it, but sometimes you’ve got to take calculated risks, because if you don’t then you don’t achieve anything.”

He added: “Joe’s been one of those I’ve taken an interest in to see how he recovered and when I heard there was an availability to sign him I thought it was a no-brainer.”

Riley returned to full training before the end of last season without any issues and featured for Bolton in their pre-season tour to Denmark and Sweden.

After a testing time, the Salford-born defender is thrilled to have a chance to play regularly.

He said: “I’ve not missed a day’s training and I’ve been available for every game, so I feel as though I’m fully fit.

“Hopefully now all my injuries are behind me. I’m just raring to go, as a footballer you just want to play.”

United’s newest signing will compete with David Hunt for a starting spot at right back this season.

It means full back Matt Bevans is likely to be encouraged, along with striker Tyrone Marsh, to go out on loan until January.

Appleton said: “He’s a young player similar to Tyrone and a couple of the other ones.

“If they’re not going to get enough minutes here I would rather see them play football elsewhere and asking questions of myself.”

Send your Letter to the Editor

11:20am Monday 28th July 2014

What do you think? We welcome letters from our readers on a wide variety of subjects and you can send us a letter through the blue headline above.

Oxford United look to spoil Hartlepool's party

Oxford Mail:

9:30am Saturday 20th December 2014

Andy Whing says Oxford United should expect to beat Hartlepool United this afternoon despite the Football League’s bottom club appointing a new manager this week.

Oxford United boss Michael Appleton is weighing up his striking options

Oxford Mail:

8:30am Saturday 20th December 2014

Michael Appleton’s main selection decision for Oxford United today is picking who leads the line against Hartlepool.

Brian Howard's future at Oxford United up in the air

Oxford Mail:

2:00pm Friday 19th December 2014

BRIAN Howard’s situation at Oxford United is unclear after head coach Michael Appleton admitted he did not know whether the midfielder would be offered an extension to his short-term contract.

Ashby's Oxford United debut is a matter of timing - Appleton

Oxford Mail:

12:00pm Friday 19th December 2014

JOSH Ashby is good enough to play in Oxford United’s side right now, but the teenager knows his time will come, according to head coach Michael Appleton.

Worried Hartlepool boss compares Oxford United to Real Madrid after scouting trip

Oxford Mail:

9:40am Friday 19th December 2014

RONNIE Moore is braced for a tough first game in charge of Hartlepool United after comparing opponents Oxford United to Real Madrid.

Oxford United look to spoil Hartlepool's party

Oxford Mail:

9:30am Saturday 20th December 2014

Andy Whing says Oxford United should expect to beat Hartlepool United this afternoon despite the Football League’s bottom club appointing a new manager this week.

Oxford United boss Michael Appleton is weighing up his striking options

Oxford Mail:

8:30am Saturday 20th December 2014

Michael Appleton’s main selection decision for Oxford United today is picking who leads the line against Hartlepool.

RUGBY: Nathan Morris hoping to get chance to pit his wits against the best

Oxford Mail:

8:10am Saturday 20th December 2014

LONDON Welsh replacement hooker Nathan Morris is looking forward to the opportunity to test himself against some of the best in the game when they travel to Saracens today, writes MATTHEW BRUCE.

TABLE TENNIS: In-form duo maintain relentless title battle

Oxford Mail:

8:10am Saturday 20th December 2014

Forum A and Holton A kept up their battle for the Division 1 crown, as they both hit an incredible 32 points apiece in the latest round of matches.

CRICKET: Imran Hussain shines for Ruscote

Oxford Mail: cricket generic

8:00am Saturday 20th December 2014

Imran Hussain helped Ruscote to a four-run win against Chipping Norton in Division 2 of the Banbury Indoor League.

BOXING: Ashley Banks cashes in to capture national title

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Saturday 20th December 2014

Banbury BC lightweight Ashley Banks was crowned England junior novice champion after a unanimous points win against Rahul Gondalia (Karmand BC, Bradford) in the final.

ICE HOCKEY: Popular veteran Andy Cox back on board to boost Oxford City Stars

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Saturday 20th December 2014

Oxford City Stars have ex-player Andy Cox back in their ranks when they host Solent Devils in English National League South Division 1 tomorrow (6.15).

AQUATHLON: Award-winning Janette Cardy given sponsorship lift

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Saturday 20th December 2014

Janette Cardy has received a welcome boost following her success at last month’s Oxfordshire Sports Awards.

ANGLING: Paul Brant quick out of the blocks to land shield

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Saturday 20th December 2014

Paul Brant struck early to win Littlemore AS’s Christmas Shield fished by 14 on the River Thames at Sandford.

RUGBY: Justin Burnell delighted at selection dilemma

Oxford Mail:

7:10am Saturday 20th December 2014

PIRI Weepu returns to the London Welsh side to take on Saracens at Allianz Park today (3), with head coach Justin Burnell admitting is was nice to have a selection headache, writes MATTHEW BRUCE.

Comments (1)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

8:56pm Tue 29 Jul 14

Richard Wickson says...

Not sure if Tyrone will ever make it at this level but Matt Bevans looked good every time he played last season and the more he played the better he looked. Really disappointed if he goes out on loan, I would have liked to have seen him play a part here this season, I think it would have been good for the club and him. Appleton is obviously the boss so maybe he hasn't seen what we saw last season. Good luck to both him and Marsh and I hope they come back here and show the Manager they have what he wants!
Not sure if Tyrone will ever make it at this level but Matt Bevans looked good every time he played last season and the more he played the better he looked. Really disappointed if he goes out on loan, I would have liked to have seen him play a part here this season, I think it would have been good for the club and him. Appleton is obviously the boss so maybe he hasn't seen what we saw last season. Good luck to both him and Marsh and I hope they come back here and show the Manager they have what he wants! Richard Wickson
  • Score: 2

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