Head Coach gets set for last five games
Head Coach Michael Appleton believes there is still plenty to play for as Oxford United head for Wimbledon on Saturday despite the U’s reaching 49 points and opening a gap between them and the relegation places. The U’s have picked up seven points out of nine to pull away from immediate danger at a crucial stage of the season, but Michael insists there will be no easing up as they go in to the last five games.
“We want to make sure we prepare properly for every game and we have the opportunity to finish the season strongly and go into next season with momentum” he told Yellow Player earlier today. “My message to the players is that we still have five games to play and fifteen points to go for so we want to win as many points as we can. It’s going to be a very difficult game; Wimbledon come into it on the back of a heavy defeat at Dagenham and will be desperate not to let that happen again, especially at home.
“Over the last ten games we have had a couple of blips but the performance levels have been good. On Monday we showed how far this group has come because without repeating the same sort of performance they put in at Wycombe they showed character and made sure they didn’t lose the game, which was very important.”
With United still not mathematically safe the U’s’ boss will resist the temptation to make a host of changes and look at options for next season, but with a crop of promising youngsters coming through he knows he can rely on them when called on:
“They will get a chance at some stage but I have to make sure it is not all at the same time. I have no doubt that if it is done right and one or two come in to the side at a time it certainly won’t make us any weaker. Ultimately we want to win every game between now and the end of the season and we will pick the right team to do that.”
The only man missing from the squad at the moment is striker Will Hoskins who misses the trip to Wimbledon as he recovers from an ankle problem.
“Will has had an ankle injury that he picked up when coming back from his hip problem. It has just progressively got worse. He has had an injection and it is settling down but whether we see him between now and the end of the season I don’t know. It’s probably fifty-fifty now” Michael said.
See the whole interview plus a Preview Show featuring Danny Hylton, Alex MacDonald and much much more in Yellow Player where we will have full LIVE match commentary