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Appleton Writes

24 September 2016

The Gaffer's notes in the Charlton match programme

Oxford United head coach writes in the programme for the visit of Charlton Athletic:

Good afternoon everyone and welcome back. I’d like to extend a warm welcome to our guests from Charlton, a big club who I am sure will do very well this season and pose a great test for us this afternoon.
Last weekend saw us pick up our first point away from home, just over the border at Milton Keynes. People have been asking me a lot about the difference between our home and away form and it is something we have looked at in a certain amount of depth. It is not causing us undue concern- we won at Birmingham in the cup so we know we are more than capable of winning on the road. One thing I do know is that if we show the same commitment and attitude away from home as we did last Saturday then the results will definitely follow. 
With a little  more luck or a shade more composure at vital moments then we could easily have come away with three points rather than just the one. Mind you, their manager Karl Robinson is probably saying very similar things because it could have gone either way at times. Easty made a couple of good saves but I thought our defending was spot on and the boys at the back fully deserved their clean sheet.
It came after a tremendous afternoon against Swindon the week before. I will admit that the first time I took charge of an Oxford side against them I slightly underestimated what it meant to people round here. This time I knew precisely what to expect and we were able to get that message across to the players in the build up. They responded very well and stayed very disciplined and professional for the entire 90 minutes. Discipline was the key and we ended up two goals, and two men, to the good after putting in one of our best performances of the season.
That result made it two wins on the bounce and I think the league is starting to settle down a little bit after the first few hectic weeks. It is incredibly tight so far; the top half of the table is just five points apart.  We have grown into things a little bit and maybe were feeling our way in the first few games but the last three games have been more like what I know this set of players are capable of. We have just started to get a little run going and  if we can keep that going today then we will start to gather real momentum.
Finally a thank you for your support, as ever. The fans at our last two games have been unbelievable and we can’t thank you enough. Keep at it today, get behind us, and let’s go home smiling once again.


You can read the full programme at

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