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NEW SEASON, NEW TEAM | Oxford United

26 May 2016

We take a look at our new opponents for 2016/17.

Oxford United:

Who are this lot then?

Just like Blues a year ago, victory over Wycombe Wanderers secured Oxford United place in Sky Bet League 1 next season.

There wasn’t the drama of penalties for The U’s though, nor the tense nature of the play-offs, but it was every bit as nerve wracking as automatic promotion from League Two went down to the final day.

There was no late heartache for Michael Appleton’s side they though,, as they won 3-0 to seal second place in the table and return to the third tier for the first time since 2001.

How did they get on last season?

The 2016 Johnstone's Paint Trophy finalists registered an impressive 84 goals on their way to League One, more than any other team in the division.

The U’s hit form at the right time, losing once in their final ten games to bring a successful end to the ‘Business End’ of the season.

Who’s the Boss?

Michael Appleton joined Oxford United as head coach in July 2014, having previously been manager of Blackburn Rovers.

The former Preston North End midfielder started his career at Manchester United and also spent three years at West Brom after his four years with Preston.

After his career was ended by a knee injury, Appleton stayed with West Brom as a coach and also had a spell as caretaker manager before becoming Roy Hodgson's assistant.

 His first permanent managerial post was at Portsmouth in 2011, after which he had a brief spell in charge of Blackpool before his move to Blackburn.

What happened last time?

Barry Corr secured a late victory for 10-man Blues, as they came from behind to win 3-2 at Oxford United in January 2015 in Sky Bet League 2.

Callum O'Dowda's low drive gave U’s the advantage before David Worrall headed the away side back on terms.

After Gary Deegan saw red for a second bookabale offence, Sam Long registered his first Oxford goal, but up stepped Joe Pigott to nod in, making it 2-2 before Corr struck a priceless winner.

What’s the ground like?

Oxford moved to the Kassam Stadium in 2001, after leaving their former stomping ground, Manor Ground - their home for 76 years.

The stadium, named after the former Club Chairman Firoz Kassam is an 12,500 all-seater stadium where the away supporters are housed in the North Stand.

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