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PREVIEW Michael Appleton looks ahead to Port Vale

21 October 2016

U's look for consistency as they travel to Vale Park

Oxford United head for Port Vale on Saturday with Head Coach Michael Appleton urging his side to find more consistency. The U’s beat second placed Bradford last Saturday only to lose to bottom club Coventry on Tuesday night.

“I think first and foremost you get the basics right” Michael told Yellow Player HD. “Ability wise I don’t question any of the lads, that’s why we got them into the building. We have got a young squad and a lot of new faces so I think get the basics right and keep doing it over and over again it builds confidence and if we concentrate on those small little details then over a period of time the consistency will come.  We are aware of that. We are a squad that is growing and improving all the time.”

The U’s are just three points behind Vale, a side that Michael believes United can learn from:

“Port Vale are a strong outfit, a decent side who can play against a team that wants to play or fight against a team that wants to fight. I have seen the game on Tuesday and Charlton played very well on the night but Port Vale were good enough to get a point out of the game and that’s probably a lesson that we can learn going forward.”

The U’s could welcome back Joe Skarz, rated as 50/50 after a shoulder injury, and Wes Thomas after a calf problem while there was good news on forward Rob Hall as well.

“Skarzy is making good progress as is Wes Thomas and he may be in training on Friday” Michael said. “Rob Hall is due to train today and is maybe three or four weeks away from being available and Ryan Ledson may be involved tomorrow as well. We are trying to get a game fixed up for next week to help them along.

“ Having competition for places and on the bench keeps everyone on their toes and means that everyone in the side knows they have to put in a performance because if they don’t then they risk losing their place.”

Michael also hinted that there could be changes to the starting XI as United strive for their second away win of the season.

“If I am going to make changes this weekend it will be for all the right reasons” he said. “We have had a couple of games now where the subs have made an impact and done something different to the players who were on the field. I think they may deserve an opportunity and I think there will be one or two new faces in the side on Saturday.”

See the full interview plus a catch up with Christian Ribeiro as he steps up his recovery  and a chat with Joe Rothwell- all in Yellow Player HD right now.

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