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.



News
Kenny Ireland, pictured in 2010.
peopleActor, from House of Cards and Benidorm, was 68
News
A scene from the video shows students mock rioting
newsEnd-of-year leaver's YouTube film features staging of a playground gun massacre
Travel
travel
Environment
View from the Llanberis Track to the mountain lake Llyn
Du’r Arddu
environmentA large chunk of Mount Snowdon, in north Wales, is up for sale
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Voices
A family sit and enjoy a quiet train journey
voicesForcing us to overhear dull phone conversations is an offensive act, says Simon Kelner
News
i100This Instagram photo does not prove Russian army is in Ukraine
News
Morrissey pictured in 2013
people
Sport
sportVan Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Arts and Entertainment
The Secret Cinema performance of Back to the Future has been cancelled again
filmReview: Sometimes the immersive experience was so good it blurred the line between fiction and reality
Arts and Entertainment
Sydney and Melbourne are locked in a row over giant milk crates
art
News
i100
Life and Style
The director of Wall-E Andrew Stanton with Angus MacLane's Lego model
gadgetsDesign made in Pixar animator’s spare time could get retail release
News
peopleGuitarist, who played with Aerosmith, Lou Reed and Alice Cooper among others, was 71
Environment
Tyred out: should fair weather cyclists have a separate slow lane?
environmentFormer Labour minister demands 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists
News
people
News
i100  ... he was into holy war way before it was on trend
Caption competition
Caption competition
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

Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In grandfather's footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

Martha Stewart has flying robot

The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

The dining car makes a comeback

Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

Gallery rage

How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

Eye on the prize

Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

Women's rugby

Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup
Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices