Hard work the key as United build up to Tranmere game
Oxford United Head Coach Michael Appleton is hoping that his side bounce back immediately as they welcome Tranmere Rovers to the Kassam Stadium on Saturday.
The U’s were well beaten at Cambridge last time out but have trained hard and been in every single day this week as they look for a far more positive performance on Saturday.
“We have been in every day” Michael told Yellow Player “and that’s not a punishment as such. There just needed to be a change of focus. I think they needed to exorcise the demons and they have done that this week. I hope that we can use last week’s result as positive going forward. I hope it will act as a catalyst to anything we do over the next two to three months.
“It wasn’t a situation on Monday where I needed to come in and rant and rave, I think it had a deeper impact to come in look them in the eyes and say exactly what I thought, I did that Monday. We had one of the best sessions I have had in the club on Tuesday and we will be more than ready come Saturday.”
Michael can call on Tyrone Barnett again after a one match suspension and is hoping to have skipper Jake Wright again after a knee problem.
“Jake trained Tuesday with minimal reaction yesterday and I’m hoping he’s in contention for Saturday” Michael said. “Tyrone brings a different dimension to the side. It’s a no brainer for me, we look a different team when he plays”.
New loan signing Tareiq Holmes-Dennis comes into the squad after arriving from Charlton and Michael believes can add a different dimension.
“He’ll certainly give us a lot of energy down that left hand side and give us a healthy competition for places. Tom Newey has made the position his own over time but we need a little bit of competition in as many of the places in the squad as possible. When you’re in the position that we’re in at the moment you want to keep the players on their toes and ensure that they are performing to their optimum or as close to it as possible, week in week out. He’s got bags of energy, a lot of quality and comes with some very high references from people in the game.”
United welcome a Tranmere side who have had a change of management this week.
“Yes it’s going to be very tough” said Michael. “We need to be ready for every eventuality but ultimately it’s down to us and what we do. Our form at home has been very good in the last games and we need to stick to that and be positive once again on Saturday.”
See the whole interview right now in Yellow Player as well as a great Preview Show featuring Tyrone Barnett, Michael Raynes, Peter Rhoades-Brown and Mark Ashton.