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L2 lowdown: Oxford United

17 June 2015

A look at how the U's are shaping up ahead of the new season

A look at next season's opponents continues with Oxford United

 

Who’s in charge?

Michael Appleton took over at the Kassam Stadium last July. He had previously had spells in charge of Portsmouth and, briefly, Blackpool and Blackburn Rovers before replacing Gary Waddock at Oxford. He was also on the coaching staff of West Bromwich Albion.

The 39-year-old played for Manchester United, Lincoln City, Grimsby, Preston North End and West Brom but the midfielder’s career was cut short by a knee injury which forced him to retire. In 2005 he began legal action against the surgeon whose negligence he claimed had ended his career and was awarded £1.5m in damages in March 2007.

 

Last season

The U’s started last season by beating Bristol City 2-1 in their second game in a Capital One Cup tie at Ashton Gate, but it was their only win in their first ten fixtures. They lacked consistency thereafter but did finish the season strongly and were undefeated in their last eight, winning five of them to secure 13th place in the final table. West Brom ended their Capital One Cup run with victory on penalties at the Hawthorns and they suffered early exits to Cheltenham (0-2, JP Trophy) and Tranmere after a replay in the second round of the FA Cup.

 

Summer plans

Appleton has already made some signings to strengthen the Oxford squad. Last week goalkeeper Sam Slocombe arrived on a free transfer from Scunthorpe United on a two-year deal. They have also signed ex-Portsmouth striker Ryan Taylor, former Exeter midfielder Liam Sercombe and striker Kemar Roofe, who scored six goals in seven loan appearances last season from West Brom and has now made the move permanent.

 

Previous meetings

Reds picked up four points against Oxford in two League Two meetings during the 2011-12 campaign. Reds won 4-1 at home and then drew 1-1 at the Kassam Stadium in the first game of 2012 thanks to Tyrone Barnett’s stoppage-time equaliser.

 

How far is it?

It is a 181 mile round trip to the Kassam Stadium.


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