'Realist' Michael Appleton looks to long game at Oxford United

Oxford United head coach Michael Appleton

Oxford United head coach Michael Appleton

First published in U's News Banbury Cake: Photograph of the Author by , Chief Sports Reporter covering Oxford United. Follow us on twitter: @oxfordmailoufc. Call me on 01865 425458

EVEN though he has only been in charge for just over a month, it is clear Michael Appleton is not someone who deals in hyperbole.

So it was unsurprising that even on the eve of a new season, when optimism normally rages unconfined, the Oxford United head coach was yesterday keeping his feet firmly on the ground and talking about a side in transition.

“People talk about optimists and pessimists, but I’m just a realist, I say it how it is,” he said.

“I’ve been in the building four or five weeks now and there’s been a lot of things going on with the new ownership, new staff, new players.

“It does take time, but we work really hard every day.

“We enjoy our work, we don’t come in and just do enough, we make sure we get every inch out of the players every single day.

“Hopefully over a period of time the fans and everyone else will see that.”

One of Appleton’s key tasks is to create a side capable of lasting the distance.

Strong starts have been a feature of United’s recent campaigns, topping the table in August for the past two years.

Equally familiar, though, has been the late slump, undoing all the good work.

Appleton clearly would not turn down a flying start at home to Burton Albion tomorrow, but the U’s boss has his sights set on changing the boom and bust nature of the side’s results.

He said: “Even after being in the job a week I spoke to (assistant head coach) Mickey Lewis who said we have got a bit of a reputation of starting really well and literally going to pot after Christmas.

“We have to make sure everything is in place to make sure we’re being consistent all the way through.

“That comes from the messages I send out, the way we play, so it’s not panicking if we lose a couple of games and thinking we need to change formation or the style of play.

“We don’t, because we believe in it, we think it’s right and we think it’s going to be successful.”

He added: “If we make a fantastic start I won’t say no to it, but it doesn’t matter how well you start, as long as you’re there after 46 games.

“We could be in the top three come January, but we all know what can happen.

“We all saw it happen last season.

“It’s not where you are after 25 games, it’s more important where you are after 46.”

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Comments (6)

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10:42am Fri 8 Aug 14

Joe1 says...

So we are being warned that it will be a miracle if we get anything from the first few games? We still need to bring in a GOOD front man.

"COME ON YOU YELLOWS"
So we are being warned that it will be a miracle if we get anything from the first few games? We still need to bring in a GOOD front man. "COME ON YOU YELLOWS" Joe1
  • Score: -10

12:18pm Fri 8 Aug 14

BigOx22 says...

I think it's more don't panic if we don't win tomorrow. I hope we do win tomorrow, I'll be glued to the radio. I would rather see Oxford being consistent with results then go ahead and fail like previous seasons.

COYY
I think it's more don't panic if we don't win tomorrow. I hope we do win tomorrow, I'll be glued to the radio. I would rather see Oxford being consistent with results then go ahead and fail like previous seasons. COYY BigOx22
  • Score: 2

12:29pm Fri 8 Aug 14

yabbadabbadoo256 says...

I give him 6 months before sacking.
I give him 6 months before sacking. yabbadabbadoo256
  • Score: -23

2:07pm Fri 8 Aug 14

Dolly76 says...

Joe1 wrote:
So we are being warned that it will be a miracle if we get anything from the first few games? We still need to bring in a GOOD front man.

"COME ON YOU YELLOWS"
You are clearly twisting what has been said.

It's the start of a new season tomorrow, lets be positive, he clearly wants to play attractive attacking football and send the team out to win.
He is just saying that its not always easy and it might take a while for the players to gel.
[quote][p][bold]Joe1[/bold] wrote: So we are being warned that it will be a miracle if we get anything from the first few games? We still need to bring in a GOOD front man. "COME ON YOU YELLOWS"[/p][/quote]You are clearly twisting what has been said. It's the start of a new season tomorrow, lets be positive, he clearly wants to play attractive attacking football and send the team out to win. He is just saying that its not always easy and it might take a while for the players to gel. Dolly76
  • Score: 17

5:22pm Fri 8 Aug 14

howardl says...

Dolly76 wrote:
Joe1 wrote:
So we are being warned that it will be a miracle if we get anything from the first few games? We still need to bring in a GOOD front man.

"COME ON YOU YELLOWS"
You are clearly twisting what has been said.

It's the start of a new season tomorrow, lets be positive, he clearly wants to play attractive attacking football and send the team out to win.
He is just saying that its not always easy and it might take a while for the players to gel.
Don't a lot of yellows twist twist things to suit their argument?
[quote][p][bold]Dolly76[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Joe1[/bold] wrote: So we are being warned that it will be a miracle if we get anything from the first few games? We still need to bring in a GOOD front man. "COME ON YOU YELLOWS"[/p][/quote]You are clearly twisting what has been said. It's the start of a new season tomorrow, lets be positive, he clearly wants to play attractive attacking football and send the team out to win. He is just saying that its not always easy and it might take a while for the players to gel.[/p][/quote]Don't a lot of yellows twist twist things to suit their argument? howardl
  • Score: -1

8:01pm Mon 11 Aug 14

rightendofa420 says...

yabbadabbadoo256 wrote:
I give him 6 months before sacking.
Appleton in
[quote][p][bold]yabbadabbadoo256[/bold] wrote: I give him 6 months before sacking.[/p][/quote]Appleton in rightendofa420
  • Score: 0

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