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THE VERDICT: Appleton reflects on Port Vale win

18 April 2017

Reaction as the U's pick up three points against the Valiants

Oxford United picked up another three points on Easter Monday with a 2-0 win over Port Vale. Goals from Josh Ruffels and Chris Maguire gave the U’s the win while pushing Port Vale into further relegation trouble.

“It was a mixed performance I thought” Michael Appleton reflected when he talked to Yellow Player HD after the game. “Some of our stuff in possession at times was decent and we created enough chances to win two or three games today, but I wasn’t pleased with the way we went about things out of possession of the ball. I felt we relied too much on our back five, and they had to work a lot harder than I wanted and what I expected. 

“I know it’s difficult: we have had a very, very good season, played a hell of a lot of games, a lot of highs and lows, but you never know when your last game is, you never know who is watching: you’re always playing for something whether its pride whatever it may be. There are players in that dressing room obviously playing for contracts as well. 

“I made it clear we can’t afford to go to Millwall next week and be as poor as we were out of possession against a Millwall side who are trying to get into the play-offs. 

“I want to finish the season on a high. I don’t want to be average, I don’t want to be middle of the road. It hurts when you have to accept what we had to accept last week - after the defeat we couldn’t make the play-offs. I just want the players to play to a standard we have come to expect over the time since they have been here.

“The reality is we have won the game and kept a clean sheet but I am always looking ahead and thinking to the next one and the next one is a pretty big one for me because we go to a side who are fighting to try and get in that top six. We want to go there if we possibly can and try and prevent that for at least a week.”

See the full interview plus the thoughts of Simon Eastwood in Yellow Player HD where we also have extended highlights of the game.