Oxford United: Michael Appleton concerned for 'jaded looking' squad

Oxford United head coach Michael Appleton
Michael Appleton was appointed Oxford United manager in July 2014

Oxford United head coach Michael Appleton had no complaints as his side saw their League One play-off push dented with defeat by Oldham.

The U's lost 2-1 at Boundary Park on Tuesday and stay 10th, six points off the play-offs with 10 games remaining.

"We were second-best and ultimately, we finished second-best," Appleton told BBC Radio Oxford.

"There were one or two players out there who looked jaded on a pitch that was difficult at times."

Oxford's third league defeat in three games may have quashed their hopes of reaching the play-offs in their first season back in League One.

They face another four league fixtures before a Wembley appearance in the EFL Trophy final against Coventry City on 2 April.

"I got the impression - and I hope I'm wrong - that we look like a side that has got one big game left this season," Appleton said.

"If that's the case, we need to get that out of our minds fairly quickly and we'll sit down and address that as a group."

In a season which has also seen Oxford reach the FA Cup fifth round, the club are set to have played at least 62 competitive games by the end of April.

"We're short and well-short at the minute," Appleton said. "We want to finish the season as high as we can, but it's probably been a bit of a reality check for everyone."

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