Michael Appleton looks ahead to the Johnstone's Paint Trophy second leg
Oxford United are just 90 minutes from Wembley as they welcome Millwall to the Kassam Stadium for the second leg of the area final of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy on Tuesday night (7.45pm).
United have a 2-0 advantage over the Lions after Kemar Roofe’s brace at the Den two weeks ago, and the promise of a final at Wembley should be all the players need to get fired up for the second leg according to Head Coach Michael Appleton.
“The players don’t need any more motivation that that” he told Yellow Player HD earlier today. ”It’s an exciting time for any player, or manager. It’s quite new to me as well, being 2-0 up after the first leg; that’s new to a lot of the players as well. I think the biggest thing is to do what we have all season, which is to attack and try and win games.”
“We are at home and there should be a fantastic following again. We will go into it trying to win, and letting the game take care of itself. We are not going to change the way we play for anyone; if Millwall come up here and beat us by three goals then good luck to them because they will have had to play very, very well on the night. We will be going into the game looking to score goals, and if we do then it makes it doubly difficult for them.”
Michael has an added incentive to do well, having suffered heartbreak at the hands of Millwall when he was Manager at Blackburn Rovers.
“That was tough to take” he admitted. “We beat Arsenal 1-0 and got to play Millwall in the quarter final, with the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley in the next round. Missing out on that semi-final against Everton was tough to take. Hopefully someone is looking down on us and gives me the opportunity to put that right and give all the players and the fans a day out.
“One or two of the lads have played at Wembley and been successful, but to miss out is not a good feeling. We have a good group of players who I believe deserve the opportunity to showcase their skills at Wembley. Let’s hope we can finish the job off.”
See the whole interview, including Michael’s thoughts on Deadline Day in Yellow Player HD right now where we also have an exclusive with captain Jake Wright; now the only player left at the club who was part of the Wembley winners in 2010.
Tickets are still available for this game, but fans are reminded that they MUST be bought by midday on Tuesday. No tickets will be on sale on the evening of the game. Tickets are only on sale to fans on the club’s existing database.