Michael Appleton fancies Man United in The Emirates FA Cup

Sunday 10 Jan 2016
Oxford United boss Michael Appleton

Michael Appleton admits he’d like a trip back to Old Trafford in the Emirates FA Cup fourth round draw.

The Oxford United boss saw his League Two high-fliers knock Premier League outfit Swansea City out in a thrilling tie at the Kassam Stadium.

And Salford-born Appleton, who began his career as a young midfielder with Manchester United before going on to play for Preston North End and West Bromwich Albion, was delighted with the way his team performed in their 3-2 win.

Oxford United 3-2 Swansea City

The Emirates FA Cup
Third Round Proper
12noon, Sunday 10 January 2015
Kassam Stadium, Oxford
Live on BBC Wales
Winners receive £67,500

“Beating a Premier League team on your patch is fantastic but the way we did it and the way we passed the ball was fantastic,” he said.

“I said to the players before that we don’t have to play with any fear, the reality is we all want to pit our wits against the best and we have done that today and we have done it in the way we have done it all season.

“I thought there were a lot of big-game players out there today.  When we had to dig deep a bit and when they put pressure on us when it was down to 3-2, the lads showed a bit of composure in the defensive third to pass the ball out and come and create chances ourselves.

“I wasn’t worried because it was a free one for us. There weren’t three points hanging over us, the reality was that if we lost the game then that would be what half the people expected anyway. 

“But we knew we would have an opportunity if we stuck to what we know we can do best.”

Emirates FA Cup highlights: Oxford United 3-2 Swansea City

The Us will now be in the hat for the fourth round draw on Monday evening, but aside from the obvious Old Trafford return, Appleton is just glad to be in the hat.

“I’m sure the chairman will want a big one away and I would be quite happy with that,” he explained.

“We can’t win this competition, but if we keep turning in performances like we did today we will give people a lot of entertainment and make the chairman and the club a few quid.

“From a selfish point of view I’d love Manchester United away because of my history and I’m still a huge United fan, so personally I’d be delighted with that but we will see what happens.”

The fourth round draw will take place on Monday evening, live on BBC One's The One Show at around 7.15pm.

By Chris Hall Digital Content Officer