Appleton pleased with Pool progress

Michael Appleton
Michael Appleton
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MICHAEL APPLETON is starting to see the fruits of his labour at Bloomfield Road.

The Blackpool boss takes charge of his sixth game today as his side travel to London to face Crystal Palace.

While he’s made changes during his short spell in charge, he admits it’s a long, rather than a short, term project.

But he says he’s finally putting his stamp on the club.

“I’m seeing little bits of what I want, I still think we are way away from how I’d want it,” said Appleton.

“I still think, at times, in games it’s a little bit we attack them, they attack us,

“I’m trying to get that out of us, we need to sustain attacks from periods of times. I’d like to see us better when we lose possession of the ball.

“But it’s a work in progress, I can’t really complain, after five games the players have took to it well. I’m sure over time we’ll get it right.”

Blackpool face their former manager Ian Holloway for the first time today since he quit the club last month.

And Appleton admits there’s pressure following on from one of the club’s most successful ever bosses.

“The added pressure from the fan’ point of view is that Ian did very well at Blackpool, he was a huge success here,” he admits.

“He’s gone to another club with a great opportunity as they’ve started the season well.

“He’s gone to a club with a great chance of getting into the Premier League.

“I think it’s slightly different here, in terms of where we are.

“We are going through a transitional period, the team isn’t the team which was playing in the Premier League.

“It’s a team with a new manager which had only won one in nine before Ian left.

“I was aware of the difficulties the job had when I came here, and it’s going to take time.”

While he’s managed to keep hold of Assistant Manager Steve Thompson, Appleton lost another member of his coaching staff last week.

Highly respected goalkeeper coach George Wood has left the club to join Holloway at Palace, and will be in the opposition dug-out today.

Former AFC Fylde boss Kelham O’Hanlon has stepped in to look after the club’s keepers while they find a full time replacement.

He’s a familiar face around Bloomfield Road, having stepped-in before George Wood’s appointment last year.

“At the minute Kelham O’Hanlon has come in and is helping us out,” confirmed Appleton.

“Kelham is someone who’s worked at the club previously when Peter Fox got injured.

“He knows most of the players, he knows the staff and more importantly he knows the goalkeepers.

“One important member of staff has left, but we’ve got someone in who knows the keepers well.”