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Club News

Michael Appleton Writes

20 September 2014

The head coach's notes from the Stevenage matchday magazine

Good afternoon and welcome back as we take on Stevenage. A warm welcome to Graham Westley and everyone associated with our visitors, a club who have enjoyed great success over the last few years.

We come into the game on the back of that first win of the season against Accrington on Tuesday. I was pleased for the players and staff but most of all I was pleased for the fans because you have had to wait a long time for that win and have stayed very patient and given us terrific support ever since we first kicked off. I thought you played your part again on Tuesday night and it was great to leave the ground and see smiling faces all around the place.

I don’t think anyone can deny that we deserved the three points. We started brightly and got our noses in front with a really well worked goal from Danny Hylton. He took it very well after a good team move and having taken the lead I was hoping that we would go on and dominate the rest of the match.

We did dominate but only after we had let Accrington back into the game by conceding almost straight away.  It was a moment of indecision and you could see the lift that it gave the away side because having scored with their first attack they then had a little spell where they were on the front foot. You cannot afford to let teams back into games so quickly.

Given the run we had been on it would have been easy for players to feel sorry for themselves but throughout the season I have talked about the spirit and togetherness in this squad and I thought that shone through. We didn’t let our heads go down, we got back into the game and from the moment Michael Collins put us 2-1 up with a great goal I thought we were in total control. Tyrone showed quick thinking for the third and over all I was very pleased with the performance.

There wasn’t time before Tuesday’s programme to welcome Brian Howard but I thought he was very influential on Tuesday night and will be a big asset to us. You could see him getting into great positions and talking and communicating to his team mates and I think we have a lot of natural leaders in the squad now, players who have captained teams and demand the best from those around them.

That is a great attribute to have throughout the side and one we will need today for what I believe will be a very tough test. We cannot afford to take one step forward and then take two back. Tuesday night needs to be the starting point rather than an isolated event. We are four games unbeaten now, let’s make it five and keep the momentum going.

Michael Appleton

Read the full magazine at www.matchdayfix.com/oufc

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