Blackpool have appointed Michael Appleton as the club’s new Head Coach, signing a four-year deal until 2026. The 46-year-old returns to Bloomfield Road, having taking charge of just 11 league matches at the club in 2013 before leaving to become Blackburn Rovers’ new boss. Appleton’s time at Rovers lasted a similarly short time, as he was sacked after just 67 days in charge. The former Lincoln City boss replaces Neil Critchley, who made the surprise decision to leave Bloomfield Road earlier this month to become Steven Gerrard’s assistant at Aston Villa.
Having left Blackburn Appleton next appeared as manager of Oxford United. Then, in 2017, he became assistant manager at Leicester City under Craig Shakespeare. He took caretaker charge of the Foxes following Shakespeare’s dismissal before leaving prior to Claude Puel taking charge. Appleton’s most recent first team role was with League One side Lincoln City. Following a disappointing season, Appleton left the club three months ago.
Blackpool Owner Simon Sadler has said, ‘I would like to take this opportunity to welcome Michael back to Blackpool. I am very much looking forward to seeing what he can achieve during his second stint with us. Whilst success cannot be guaranteed, Ben, Brett, John and I are convinced that, after a thorough recruitment process, he’s the right man for us at this point in our journey. All of the prospective head coaches were strong candidates and we spent several hours with each to get to know them better. After debating their individual pros and cons, we were unanimous in our decision to choose Michael Appleton.’
Michael Appleton replied, ‘I am absolutely delighted to be here. To be able to come back to the Club, with where the Club is at during this moment in time, after two really successful seasons, I can’t wait to get started. When I spoke to Simon, to Ben, John and Brett, you could clearly feel the energy in the room, and I think they felt that from me as well. This Club now feels like the right Club at the right time. The fans will certainly have seen glimpses of what I tried to do in my days at Lincoln. I want to play aggressive, forward-thinking football and we have certain things that we want from the players when we’re playing, dependent on opposition clearly. We just want to be exciting and get people off their seats.’
Blackpool yesterday denied reports suggesting Derby assistant Liam Rosenior had been offered and turned down the role.