Appleton confirmed as Rovers boss

Michael Appleton
Michael Appleton
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BLACKBURN have confirmed the appointment of Michael Appleton as their new manager.

The Seasiders are searching for their third boss of the season after Appleton sensationally headed out of Bloomfield Road last night.

The 37-year-old was confirmed as boss at Lancashire rivals Blackburn Rovers today after compensation was agreed between the two clubs late last night.

He has signed a two-and-half year deal.

Appleton has been in charge at Blackpool for 64 days – just 12 games.

Appleton replaced Ian Holloway in November and had talked about a long-term project with the Seasiders.

However, frustrations over lack of movement in the transfer 
market, and investment in the playing surface at Bloomfield Road saw Appleton keen to talk to Pool’s Championship rivals.

Appleton was confirmed as Rovers’ boss today and Pool will receive compensation in excess of £300,000.

The deal also includes first team coach Ashley Westwood, who arrived at Blackpool from Portsmouth with Appleton in November.

It follows a day of confusion at Bloomfield Road for the club’s staff, players and supporters.

News broke of an approach for Appleton on Wednesday night, and The Gazette revealed yesterday it had been rejected by Pool chairman Karl Oyston.

Despite this, Appleton did not take training yesterday and the players were left in the hands of assistant manager Steve Thompson.

Blackpool spent the day in talks with Rovers chief Derek Shaw, before eventually agreeing to release their manager last night.

Appleton won two and lost two of 12 games in the reins at Bloomfield Road. His most recent victory was a 2-0 home triumph over Blackburn on December 15.

The search is now on for the club’s latest boss, while Thompson will take charge of the side for tomorrow’s Championship clash against Charlton.

Oyston and club secretary Matt Williams were compiling a shortlist of potential replacements last night and will make approaches to speak to targets as soon as Appleton’s exit is 

Former Nottingham Forest manager Sean O’Driscoll is the bookies favourite at 2/1, with Bradford boss Phil Parkinson 3/1, Thompson rated at 6/1 former Pool target Keith Hill an outsider at 16/1 and ex-Fleetwood boss and Seasiders’ captain Micky Mellon is 18/1.