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REACTION: Appleton on Northampton

27 December 2016

U's look to bounce back on New Year's Eve

Oxford United were hit by a late goal that gave Northampton Town a 1-0 win at Grenoble Road on Boxing Day. Marc Richards’ 94th minute back heel left the U’s empty-handed but Head Coach Michael Appleton is convinced his side will bounce back strongly when they welcome Walsall for another home game on New Year’s Eve.

“Result wise it was disappointing but you can’t argue about the performance” he told Yellow Player HD. “I thought we matched them in everything in the first half, matched their physicality, won a lot of second balls and showed good composure when we had to. Then in the second half we turned it up a notch. They made countless blocks and saves and the ball flashed across their box time and time again. The first goal was crucial and it doesn’t matter if you have a team on the ropes, there is always an opportunity to score a goal.

“It’s a point dropped rather than three- we went into the 94th minute at 0-0 and should have kept a clean sheet. We lacked a little bit of concentration and that cost us but we have been on the right end of some late goals earlier in the season and I don’t forget that. I’d like to think the group is strong enough to be able to cope with it and if we get into those situations again, 0-0 in the last five minutes of games I’ll take that and back us to go on and won a lot of those games.

“We will take stock of it. We have been on a good little run of late and just have to make sure we bounce back against Walsall on New Year’s Eve.”

Over 11,000 were there to see it and Michael was quick to thank the fans for their support

“It’s a shame we couldn’t get the win for them but hopefully lots of them will be back on New Year’s Eve. The better the atmosphere here the more it drives us on. The players appreciate it and are very aware of the fantastic support they get here and if we can go into the new year with three points against Walsall then those fans are going to be really looking forward to the second half of the season. “

See the full interview plus extended highlights and the thoughts of Chey Dunkley, all in Yellow Player HD.

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