Appleton: ‘I’ve come up against Neil many times’


Michael Appleton says he knows what to expect from a Neil Harris team.

Harris was appointed as Cambridge United’s new Head Coach on Wednesday and his first game in charge is Saturday’s clash at The Valley.

“They’ll get a little bit of a lift and the new voice that you get from the manager coming in,” explained Appleton. “I’ve come up against Neil many times, certainly when he was at Millwall as manager. I know what he’s about and I know how his teams play. Whether he feels he’s got the personnel to do what he would normally want to do, who knows? That makes it a little bit more difficult as you’re second guessing how it might go.

“Ultimately, I’ve just got to make the players aware and prepared that, from a mentality point of view, the first 20 minutes is going to be massively key. They’ve got a new manager and they’re going to come out of the blocks, but we’re the team at home and we’ll do the same.”

Asked for the latest on Lloyd Jones, George Dobson, Tayo Edun and his squad generally, the Head Coach said: “There are a couple of them that are 50/50. We’ll get a better idea [later] this morning, but I’m reasonably confident they’ll come through it. It was obviously a little bit more precautionary than anything else and I felt it was the right thing to do.

“I’ve got no doubts that, if we kept them on the pitch, we would have won the game comfortably, but there was a bigger picture for me to look at i.e. this game tomorrow. Hopefully they’ll come through and they’ll be ready for tomorrow.”

Appleton also provided an update on Miles Leaburn, who had successful hamstring surgery.

“The first couple of days were a little bit of a shock for him,” he said. “He was in theatre very, very quickly after it happened and after he got the decision on the scans.

“He’s a young lad who has had a little bit of a shock to the system. Once he gets in and around the lads and he’s back in doing his little bits of rehab, I think that’s when you almost sort of come to terms with it a little bit. You almost realise, ‘right, okay, this is what’s happened and this is what I need to do to put myself in a position where I’m playing again.’ We’ve got good staff who I’m sure will do that.”

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