Oxford United: Michael Appleton keen to make signings

Michael Appleton
Appleton has managed Portsmouth, Blackpool and Burnley.

New Oxford United boss Michael Appleton has revealed he has identified "numerous" possible transfer targets.

He recently replaced Gary Waddock as part of an ownership shake-up which saw Mark Ashton come in as chief executive.

Appleton, 38, told BBC Radio Oxford: "I've had a chat with the football staff. It's important we recognise who they've identified already.

"There are numerous players I've identified myself and spoke to Mark briefly about."

He added: "More importantly, it's about recognising where we need to strengthen and the reasons we need to strengthen the squad.

"It's a small squad and a young squad. We'll be looking to do something as quickly as possible.

"I'll certainly get a good look at players who are in the building. I think sometimes, when a new manager comes in, players who are at the football club and want and deserve an opportunity probably get neglected a little bit.

"It's an opportunity and a clean slate for everyone. I want to do things as quickly as I can but am mindful of the fact that there's some good talent here anyway."

Appleton began his coaching career at West Bromwich Albion, where he had a spell as Roy Hodgson's assistant when the England boss was in charge at The Hawthorns.

Ashton was a goalkeeper at Albion and was later a director when Appleton was there.

Michael Appleton's managerial career
West Brom (caretaker)010
Portsmouth 131127
Blackpool 283

Since leaving West Brom, Appleton has had brief stints as manager of Portsmouth, who endured serious financial problems, Blackpool and Blackburn.

The Oxford job is his fourth in less than three years.

"It was so important that when I came back into the game I chose the right club," Appleton admitted.

"I see this is an opportunity to really get my teeth into something. It's almost like a fresh start for me. I suppose I'm almost doing my apprenticeship again.

"I just want to be successful, and if I'm successful then I'm going to be here for a while.

"After I left Blackburn, I knew that wherever I went next I had to stick around for a while.

"There have been lots of other opportunities for me, but this just felt right and hopefully I've come to the right club at the right time.

"They've certainly got me at the right time. I'm very hungry, very ambitious and I want to use those qualities to hopefully take Oxford through the leagues."

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