United v Newport County. Michael Appleton looks forward to another big game
Oxford United welcome Newport County to the Kassam Stadium on Tuesday night, looking to keep their promotion challenge on track against a County side fighting at the foot of the table. The U’s left it late for a 1-0 win at Dagenham on Saturday courtesy of a Kemar Roofe stunner, and Head Coach Michael Appleton expects just as tough a match this time around.
“The reality is that Dagenham ran us as close as anyone has in the league all season because they are fighting for their lives” he warned Yellow Player HD subscribers this morning. “It was a difficult day, as it will be against Newport. They have a new Manager, they are five unbeaten now, and are very much a more resolute side and probably more together than they were at the start of the season. No doubt about it, they will come here and make it very difficult for us to play.”
New boss John Sheridan is an experienced campaigner at this level and has lifted his side off the foot of the table since taking over from Terry Butcher.
“We’re aware of what Newport will bring to the table” Michael said “and I think John is getting them to play in a similar way to how he had Plymouth play. We have to deal with their dangers and then on the regain, when we get hold of the ball, make sure we exploit it.”
The U’s will be without Jake Wright once again, but the captain is nearing a return.
“Jake is having an injection in his back and the specialist has found something they think is curable with a simple injection that will solve the problem straight away” Michael said.”I’m not sure if he’ll be available for Hartlepool on Saturday but if not then hopefully the next game.
“But Johnny Mullins has taken over the armband and taken it in his stride. He is a ‘lead by example’ player but I think he has become a little bit more vocal since he took over the captaincy, trying to make sure we are fully focussed and always organised. With games coming thick and fast you need that; to focus on the next game and not look back. All the players play a part in that though and we move on to Tuesday night in decent shape.”
See the full interview with Michael plus exclusives with George Baldock, Aidan Hawtin and Les Taylor ahead of a game you can hear LIVE, all in Yellow Player HD.
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