MICHAEL Appleton says he will be working flat-out this month to try to ensure Oxford United are in good position to land their key summer transfer targets.

The head coach knows the importance of being on the front foot when it comes to attracting new talent.

United are expected to announce their retained list for next season in the next 24 hours, but with many other clubs having already revealed players surplus to requirements, Appleton is determined to be in the box seat when it comes to agreeing deals.

However, with a 62-game season taking its toll both mentally and physically, the U’s boss says the work needs to be done now, because he plans on spending June recovering from a mammoth campaign.

He said: “Most of May is going to be spent trying to recruit and I will be speaking to lots of players and agents to make sure we are in a strong position.

“I do badly need a rest, but that won’t be until June. It’s crucial to get this work done in May so that preparations are in place.”

While planning on spending most of next month out the country, Appleton will still be keeping in touch with potential targets and agents, but says he will try and make sure it’s kept to a minimum.

“I will get a few weeks away because I need it and that will be for the benefit of everyone, including myself,” he said.

Asked whether he finds it easy to switch off, he replied: “No, not really.

“What I can do is just sit there and relax. But there’s no doubt in the back of my mind I will be thinking about this player and that player.

“My kids, my girlfriend and family are very good in terms of keeping me busy. So I will try to switch off as much as possible.

“They sometimes have to say ‘it’s family time’ now, and rightly so.”

And while he knows conversations will have to take place, his phone will only be on for certain periods.

“Everything gets dictated by your mobile,” he said.

“If you haven’t got it with you, the reality is it’s much easier to switch off. But if you have, whether it’s on silent or not, it becomes a distraction.

“When I’m away I tend to have an hour whether it be early evening or first thing in the morning when I get all my calls done.

“But after that I will try to relax.”