After finishing second in League Two in the 2015-16 campaign, Oxford United will make their return to the third tier of English football for the first time in 15 years this season.Managed by Michael Appleton, the U’s racked up an impressive tally of 86 points on their way to finishing runners-up behind Northampton, in a fierce battle for the automatic promotion spots.
Their start to the season was a promising one, as they lost only two of their opening 16 matches, with one of these coming against eventual champions Northampton Town. United clinched promotion on the final day of the season at the Kassam Stadium with a 3-0 success over Wycombe Wanderers.
Goals were spread around the Oxford team throughout the season, as four players reached double figures.
Former West Bromwich Albion midfielder Kemar Roofe was the stand-out performer for Appleton’s side, finding the back of the net on 26 occasions in all competitions.
There were also impressive contributions from Liam Sercombe, Danny Hylton and Callum O’Dowda, who chipped in with 17, 14 and 10 goals respectively.
Appleton is a relative newcomer to the managerial scene, having only been involved for just over five years.
In the first of his two seasons with the U’s, the former Blackburn Rovers boss guided them to a 13th placed finish, before impressively building on the mid-table finish with promotion the following year. The 40-year-old is yet to add to his squad over the close season, but has seen marksman Hylton leave to join Luton Town.
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