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Club News

Michael Appleton in the MK Dons Programme

11 February 2017

"We are in good shape and full of confidence"

Good afternoon everyone and welcome back to an important home game against MK Dons after quite a couple of weeks for everyone associated with Oxford United.

The last time many of you were here was for the FA Cup game against Newcastle where we put in a terrific performance and deservedly went through to face Middlesbrough in the next round. I thought the second half performance in particular was outstanding and we took the game to a side who I fully expect to be in the Premier League next season.

What pleased me the most was that nobody got carried away and we were then able to recharge, refocus and put in an equally impressive performance against Bradford in the Checkatrade Trophy quarter final just three days later. That is a wonderful tribute to not only the physical condition of the players but the mental strength they have. It’s not easy to switch from a full house in the FA Cup to a completely different competition and a much lower attendance.

We made changes, as we have done in every game in that competition, but the players who came into the side did extremely well and we now know that we face a trip to Luton in the semi-final, with Coventry City at Wembley awaiting the winners.

As if those two wins weren’t enough we then went to Swindon last Sunday and sealed another win in front of an absolutely magnificent away following. On behalf of everyone at the club we thank you for the backing you gave us last weekend, it was incredible to see and hear and the scenes on the pitch at the end were unbelievable.

Credit to the players once again because they held their nerve, stuck to the game plan and won the game through patience and good football. It was a pressure situation and only one team kept their heads and deserved to win the game.

Stepping away from what it meant to the fans, it was another important three points and sets us up nicely for two home games in a row: we welcome Southend United on Tuesday night as well. We have added to the squad with Toni Martinez and Conor McAleny joining and Christian Ribeiro and Sam Long both coming back into contention for the second half of the season. We are in good shape and full of confidence but my message is the same as ever: keep doing the right things, keep working hard and don’t get carried away, whether you win or lose. 

Finally, I know it is Fans Day today and there are events planned around the ground. Enjoy your day with us, knowing that none of the things we have achieved in the last couple of seasons would be possible without your backing, faith and support.

Get behind us, 

Michael 

You can read the full programme online at www.matchdayfix.com/oufc

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