Blackburn approach for Appleton hints at Blackpool discontent


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The Independent Football

The search for a new manager at Blackburn Rovers took a twist tonight as they approached Blackpool for Michael Appleton.

Appleton held informal talks with Rovers officials yesterday afternoon and is believed to have already become disenchanted with the way in which Blackpool are run, while the Blackburn managing director, Derek Shaw, said in a statement on club's website that: "[Appleton] is the only candidate we have approached for the manager's job."

The former Portsmouth manager has only been at Bloomfield Road since November after leaving the League One strugglers to replace Ian Holloway, who left for Crystal Palace. That Appleton is dissatisfied so soon will distress the Blackpool chairman, Karl Oyston, who could be due his second compensation package in less than three months if a deal is completed.

Blackpool have drawn seven of Appleton's eleven Championship matches in charge and lie six points behind the division's play-off spots – one point and a place beneath Rovers.

Gary Bowyer, the caretaker at Blackburn, has done well following the sacking of Henning Berg on 27 December, winning his first three games in charge. It was reported that Bowyer and his assistant Terry McPhillips had been given the post until the end of end of the month, but the Blackburn hierarchy always wanted to make an appointment sooner rather than later.

Differences in opinion at boardroom level may dictate that they could be waiting a little while longer before any deal is ratified by all at the club. Shebby Singh, the global advisor, along with other senior figures including Shaw and Paul Agnew, was criticised for a number of strategy shifts in picking a new manager before Berg was eventually appointed in November following Steve Kean's departure.