Former Portsmouth, Blackpool and Blackburn Rovers manager Michael Appleton has signed a new contract with Oxford United. As he looks to guide The U’s into League One, the 40-year-old has penned a new rolling deal at the Kassam Stadium.

The Oxford head coach joined the club in the summer of 2014 and in addition to a promotion push, he guided them to the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy final at Wembley recently as well.

Appleton has endured a tough time in management after taking on some difficult challenges at clubs with financial and general off-the-field issues. However he is now settled in Oxfordshire and sees no reason to move.

His name has been linked with the odd Football League managerial vacancy in recent times, but Appleton is only focused on taking the club to the next level,

“I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Oxford and it was an easy decision to sign a new contract because all I’ve ever wanted is to help take the club forward.

“I have a fantastic working relationship with the Chairman and the Board as well as the staff and players. The fans have made me feel welcome and I’m pleased to get everything sorted and be able to focus solely on the remaining five games of the season, starting against Luton on Saturday.”

Chairman Darryl Eales insists that Appleton has been and will continue to be a major part of the long-term project that the club are trying to build,

“I am a firm believer in stability and building for the long term future of a football club, and I am delighted that Michael has agreed to continue to be a central part of what we are trying to build here.

“He is a man of total integrity, with a huge work ethic and has the greatest respect of everyone; not just me and not just everyone at the club but also throughout football. He has assembled an excellent squad that combines young local players with more experienced professionals, and we look forward to working with him for many years to come “

Appleton will now aim to achieve his first promotion in management by sealing an automatic promotion spot in League Two. Their destiny on that front is very much in their own hands, but must keep on picking up the points, starting with Luton this weekend.

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I currently work as a Championship Research Analyst for Onside Analysis Ltd. In this role I provide match previews and reviews for every Championship game. I also delve into matches from all across the globe, gaining an insight into football from different leagues in different countries. I came into this role shortly after graduating from The University of Hull after studying BSc Sports Coaching & Performance. I am a Lincoln City fan and thankfully they're back in The72!!