League One Lowdown: Oxford United

By Jim Bonner
Last updated : 23 July 2017

Vital Statistics

Founded: 1893

Chairman: Darryl Eales

Last Season: League One - 8th

Nickname: The U's, The Yellows

Rivals: Swindon Town, Reading

Major Honours

League Cup: 1986

Scheduled Matches

Portsmouth vs Oxford: Saturday, March 24th (3pm)

Oxford vs Portsmouth: Saturday, August 12th (3pm)

Oxford United: A brief history

Formed as Headington (with the "United" suffix added later on) the club didn't turn professional until 1949 when they joined the Southern League. The club changed its name to Oxford United in 1960 to raise its profile and were elected to the Football League in 1962.

The Us rose through the leagues but fell on financial hard times in the early 80's and almost merged with Reading to become Thames Valley FC until fan protests prevented it from happening. The rest of the decade would be Oxford's glory years as they were promoted to the First Division and won the 1986 Milk Cup, their only major honour to date.

A decline followed in the 90's and 00's and United were relegated to the Conference in in 2006 under the management of Jim Smith, who had been their manager in the glory years of the 80's. Smith resigned and it took the U's four years to bounce back to League Two when they beat York 3-1 in the Conference play-off final. Under Michael Appleton's management the U's were promoted to League One in 2016.

The Manager: Pep Clotet

The 40-year-old Spainiard began his coaching career in his 20's having never really had a playing career. His early jobs in management saw him take charge of local clubs Cornelia and Figueres as well as a couple of stints as the Espanyol youth team boss.

After some time in Scandanavia with Viking and Malmo, Clotet had one more job in Spain with Malaga B before heading to Swansea as Michael Laudrup's assistant. He stayed there to assist Garry Monk when Laudrup was sacked and then followed him to Leeds last season.

Rather than follow Monk to Middlesbrough, Coltet decided to take the vacant position at Oxford United when Michael Appleton left to become assistant manager at Leicester City.

The Ground: The Kassam Stadium (Capacity: 12,500 - Away: 5,000)

Oxford moved to the Kassam Stadium (named after chairman Firoz Kassam) in 2001 and is famous for only having three sides. There is a nearby bowling alley to have a drink with no actual pubs nearby.

Inside the stadium, you'll be seated/stood in a stand very similar to the two-tiered South Stand opposite, although the North Stand has only one tier and it's very steep. The sun can also get in your eyes if your team happens to be playing Oxford during the winter months.

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To the right is the car park and a small electronic scoreboard. Cue the "you've only got three stands" song blaring out from the massive number of visiting Pompey fans.

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On the left is the Oxford Mail Stand which holds the U's "ultras" although this claim is pretty laughable as barely any noise was heard from them throughout any of Pompey's recent visits to the Kassam Stadium.

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Overall, Oxford's ground isn't particularly inspiring or brilliant. It's in the middle of nowhere, you don't get much of an atmosphere from the home support and, of course, the ground only has three sides. The only good thing is that the away section holds such a big allocation that the visiting team can bring plenty of fans and make plenty of noise.

Portsmouth Match Reports


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