The Lowdown on...Oxford

FOR the perennially mid-table Oxford, could this be the year to branch out to success...

Last season: 13, League Two, 61 pts
Manager: Michael Appleton
Nickname: The U's
When we play them: home - Saturday, March 5; away - Tuesday, October 20
Last season: home - L 2-1; away - D 0-0
Ins: Jamie Ashdown (Crawley Town); George Baldock (MK Dons); Kemar Roofe (West Brom); Liam Sercombe (Exeter City); Sam Slocombe (Scunthorpe United); Ryan Taylor (Portsmouth)
Outs: Jeremy Balmy; Matt Bevans; John Campbell; Ryan Clarke (Northampton Town); Will Hoskins; David Hunt; Jonathan Meades (AFC Wimbledon); Tom Newey (Northampton Town); Josh Shama

If Oxford United were a tree... A white oak. Both Oxford United and white oak trees grow very slowly. They both have solid foundations to build on, but Oxford have finished in mid-table positions for the past five seasons. White oak is used for wine barrels to preserve wine - Oxford United will need to preserve their memories of winning the league in 1985, as it looks unlikely they will achieve anything similar at their current rate of progression. However, just like the white oak tree, for Oxford United the only way is up.