New Head Coach outlines his plans at first training session
New head Coach Michael Appleton met the players for the first time today and was excited by the prospect of leading The U’s into the new season.
The former Portsmouth, Blackpool and Blackburn boss replaced Gary Waddock on Friday and after a look around the Kassam Stadium was at the training ground to take charge of the second training session of the day:
“I have had a look around the facilities and they are first class, especially at this level” he told Yellow Player. “Now I am just looking forward to getting out there on the pitches, having a look at the players and seeing where we are. I know a couple of the players already and enough people have told me that there is a good bunch of young players coming through here so it will give me an opportunity to work with them and see what they can do over pre-season.”
The players have looked fit and strong so far in pre-season and will be in action at Farnborough on Saturday in their first game. Michael told us:
“The first week is about testing and fitness. It won’t be until we play games that you can see the balance and the strengths and weaknesses. But once the games start at the weekend we’ll have a feel for who can do what in which areas of the field.”
We asked Michael what the fans can expect from one of his teams?
“I want to see players who express themselves” he said.”I like to see good footballers although I am mindful that you have to do what you have to do to win games. But I do like decent football and to be entertained because I think when I go to a game myself that’s what I expect to see. If we can get the balance right, play at the right times in the right areas, then that is going to make me happy.”
New faces won’t be far away as the squad begins to take shape in the next couple of weeks:
“We are going to try and address it as quickly as we can” Michael told us. “We are aware of it and that first game against Burton will come round before you know it. I’d like to think that by that game we will certainly have a stronger squad than we have at the moment.”
Having talked to the press it was time to change in to his training kit and get out for that first session with the players …
“That’s me really” he said with a smile. “Anyone who knows me knows that I love being on the training pitch and usually leave the suit until matchdays. I feel at home out there with the players and can’t wait to join in now.”
See the whole interview in Yellow Player right now.