Oxford United: Michael Appleton staying grounded over promotion talk

Oxford United head coach Michael Appleton
Michael Appleton led Oxford to automatic promotion from League Two last season

Oxford United manager Michael Appleton had to be reminded of how strong a run of form his side are on as they target the League One play-off places.

The U's have won seven of their past eight games in all competitions, with just two defeats in 18 matches.

But Appleton admitted he was oblivious until analyst Mark Thomas pointed out their current surge.

"You just go from game to game and look ahead to the next one, to be honest," Appleton told BBC Radio Oxford.

Oxford, who are 13th in the table, face MK Dons at home on Saturday at the start of six games in 18 days, which includes an FA Cup fifth round tie at Middlesbrough and an EFL Trophy semi-final against Luton Town.

"For us to have any thoughts along the lines of promotion, we have to continue this form over the next 18 matches," said Appleton, whose side are six points outside the top six.

"There's 54 points to play for, but we know that our first target is 50 points and then let's see how many games are left and how big the gap is to the play-offs.

"The lads are in a good place at the moment. I won't talk about league tables, but they will. They'll look at them and talk between themselves, they're not daft.

"But, they know that given their form and the way they've played of late, they can stay resolute."