Michael Appleton: Oxford United manager welcomes first league win

Michael Appleton
Appleton previously had spells in charge of Portsmouth, Blackpool and Blackburn

Michael Appleton hailed his side's character after they claimed their first league win of the season and his first as Oxford United manager.

Appleton took over in the summer but had yet to oversee a league win.

However, Tuesday's 3-1 victory over Accrington Stanley sealed their first three points of the season and Appleton was delighted with the result.

"The way the players stuck to the game plan was rewarded," Appleton told BBC Radio Oxford.

"Our discipline on the night was very good.

"Saturday's game [a 1-1 draw at Exeter] felt like a defeat and not a draw but it now feels nicer as we've backed it up with a win. Now we have a big game on Saturday to kick on."

Oxford manager Michael Appleton
"I want the football club to have an identity and for people to come to Oxford United and know they are going to watch a style of football that makes them want to come back."

Oxford's first win of the season lifts them out of the bottom two in League Two and up to 22nd place.

Appleton has urged his side to continue their good form, with the U's unbeaten in their last four league games.

"It's about what we do and the group of people in that dressing room staying strong and sticking to our beliefs," said the former Portsmouth boss. "We came through and we will continue to come through.

"I want the football club to have an identity and for people to come to Oxford United and know they are going to watch a style of football that makes them want to come back."

Appleton also paid tribute to the impact of new signing Brian Howard, who made his debut against Stanley after arriving at the club on Monday,

"Brian is a good footballer - we knew that," he said. "On Saturday we got caught between units, so I asked him to be clever. I worked with the lad before so I know all about him."

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