U's get set for Tuesday night against Bolton Wanderers
Oxford United welcome high-flying Bolton Wanderers to Grenoble Road on Tuesday night looking to use Saturday’s win over Scunthorpe as a stepping stone. The U’s have games in hand and are close enough to the play-offs to mount a late charge. Facing one of the best teams in the division does not worry Head Coach Michael Appleton:
“They are probably the best games” he told Yellow Player HD. “Our recent history this season shows us that we have been better against sides at the top rather than at the bottom, so it doesn’t concern me too much. Plus I think when you play the better sides your level of performance has to be higher.
“It asks questions of your players and I don’t ever want to stop asking questions of my players because that’s what makes them better.”
The United boss made changes for Saturday and already knows his side for the next three games:
“I spoke to the players on Thursday at the stadium and told them I had picked the teams for the next four games, and that won’t change. Doesn’t matter if people are playing well; the only time we will change those plans is if there is an injury. We are going to try and keep it as fresh as we can.
“People might think it will disrupt the rhythm but if you look back at the season, when we have done it then actually it has had a positive effect and kept them really fresh. Saturday was a great example of that. We made five changes and it maybe took half an hour for us to get going but in the second half I thought we were great.
“We did it in the Checkatrade games against Bradford and Scunthorpe where they played really strong sides on the evening but we came out winners in those two games. Scunthorpe had their strongest side on Saturday, bringing Josh Morris back in, so I have no qualms about people coming in and out. We have a smaller squad so we can have better quality and provided we can keep them fit then great.”
United are without Ryan Ledson as he joins up with the England under 20 squad: see what Michael had to say on that and youngster Canice Carroll’s call up for Ireland in Yellow Player HD.