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Michael Appleton Writes

9 August 2014

Michael Appleton's first programme notes of the season

Here are Michael Appleton's first matchday magazine notes of the new season. You can read the whole edition online at www.matchdayfix.com/oufc.

Good afternoon everybody and welcome to our opening game of the Sky Bet League 2 Season. What better way to test yourself than against a Burton side who made the play-offs last season. Gary Rowett will be pushing them to go even further this time around, so it should make for an exciting first match.

I will be very proud to take charge of the side this afternoon for the first time in a competitive game. Pre-season has been hard work but very enjoyable and the players have been first class ever since I first worked with them. As a group they went very close to success last season and they have taken new ideas on board this summer, got themselves very fit and done everything we have asked of them.

We have added a few new faces. Danny Hylton was obviously here when I arrived but is a new face to many of you, while George Long, Joe Riley, Michael Collins, Junior Brown and Carlton Morris have all joined us in the last few weeks. Add in Jon Meades, who has still to play a competitive match for the club, and you have seven new players in the squad, and we will continue to work on adding to that number before the transfer window closes.

The plan is to hit the ground running but sometimes you just need a little time for everything to gel and for a side to settle into their stride. The important thing is to keep building and to keep improving. Me, Derek Fazackerley, Mickey Lewis and the rest of the backroom team will help the players prepare for every game but we want the players to go out there, play the right way and enjoy what they are doing.

I think that comes across to the fans as well. You all know when a player is putting in a shift for your team; working hard for those around you is the cornerstone of everything in football and fans will always back a side that gives it their absolute all.

Over the next 46 games the players will play their hearts out on your behalf and all we ask in return is that you back them, support them and encourage them every time they pull on the yellow shirt. If we all work together then we believe we have the makings of a very successful season here.

Get behind us,

Michael Appleton

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