Michael Appleton returns to Bloomfield Road as Blackpool’s new head coach

Michael Appleton is the new head coach of Blackpool.

Friday, 17th June 2022, 11:21 am
Updated Friday, 17th June 2022, 3:42 pm

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The 46-year-old, who has agreed a four-year contract, returns to Bloomfield Road for a second stint following a 65-day spell as manager during the 2012/13 season.

Appleton cited difficulties with the former owners, the Oyston family, as the reason behind his decision to leave and join Blackburn Rovers.

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Since then, the former Preston North End and West Brom player has enjoyed success with both Oxford United and Lincoln City.

He led the U’s to automatic promotion from League Two in 2016, also winning the Football League Trophy in the same season.

Under his stewardship, Oxford reached the final of the Football League Trophy for a second time the following season while also finishing eighth in League One.

After spells working on the backroom staff with Leicester City and former side West Brom, Appleton replaced the Cowley brothers at Sincil Bank in 2019.

Appleton returns to Bloomfield Road for a second spell

He led the Imps to the League One play-off final during the 2020/21 campaign, ironically losing 2-1 to Blackpool at Wembley thanks to Kenny Dougall’s double.

The Manchester United academy graduate struggled the following season, finishing in 17th, 12 points above safety.

Appleton needed time off at the start of the campaign to undergo successful surgery after being diagnosed with testicular cancer.

Another main reason behind Lincoln’s decline was their failure to replace the likes of Alex Palmer, Jorge Grant, Brennan Johnson and Morgan Rogers, who all departed after losing to Blackpool in the final.

Derby County assistant Liam Rosenior was also in the frame and was interviewed twice by the club.

The announcement of a new head coach is a timely one as pre-season is due to get underway on Monday ahead of the new Championship campaign.