Albion legend Batson backs Appleton to shine at Hawthorns

West Bromwich Albion legend Brendon Batson believes Michael Appleton might have landed in the Baggies hot seat at just the right time. The 35-year-old has worked his way up the coaching ranks at The Hawthorns after a knee injury forced him into premature retirement in 2003.

And on Sunday the first-team coach was placed in caretaker charge following the sacking of manager Roberto Di Matteo and assistants Eddie Newton and Ade Mafe.

This season has proved fruitful for caretaker managers in the Premier League, with Kenny Dalglish turning Liverpool's form around and Steve Kean landing a permanent job at Blackburn. Batson would not be surprised if Appleton was the next, and said: "He's done fantastically well to get to the position he has done. I know he's very well thought of at the club and an extremely good coach. Sometimes an opportunity presents itself in unexpected circumstances.

"I don't know what's in the mind of the board but look at what Kenny Dalglish has achieved at Liverpool."

Di Matteo's sacking came as a shock to most in the game and Batson, who played more than 150 games for West Bromwich between 1978 and 1982, thinks the Italian may have made a rod for his own back.

He said: "We all know it's a results business and results haven't been good. Probably one of the things against him was they started off so well this season and expectations rose. The club has been on a poor run but, as a manager, that's when you're looking for support from the board. The timing seems odd as well given the window has closed and there are some huge games coming up."

Appleton is expected to be in charge for Saturday's crunch meeting with bottom side West Ham, while West Bromwich also face matches against fellow strugglers Wolves and Birmingham over the next few weeks.

Chris Hughton, Roy Hodgson and Martin Jol have all been mentioned as potential candidates for the role if the board decide to look outside the club, while Batson talked up St Johnstone boss Derek McInnes, a former Baggies captain.

He added: "Derek had all the qualities to be a top manager in the making when he was a player at West Brom. There's lots of quality candidates out there so the board are spoilt for choice."

Appleton has revealed he will turn to Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson for advice ahead of his managerial debut. The former midfielder began his career at Old Trafford and is keen to keen to learn from the Scot, as well as the likes of David Moyes and Gary Megson, who he also played under.

Appleton said: "I will be picking up the phone to a few old friends – people who used to be my managers, who I have learnt lots of things from. The one thing they all have is they are very good from a discipline point of view."

Appleton could have a fully-fit squad to pick from, with Graham Dorrans, Marek Cech, Chris Brunt and Boaz Myhill all expected to be available.



Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living