• Championship

Appleton leaves Blackpool to manage Blackburn

ESPN staff
January 11, 2013
Michael Appleton only joined Blackpool two months ago © Getty Images

Michael Appleton has officially left Blackpool to take the vacant manager's job at Blackburn Rovers on a two-and-a-half year deal.

Appleton, 37, only joined Blackpool two months ago, taking charge of just 12 matches before Rovers moved in to name him as the successor to the sacked Henning Berg.

Blackburn will be Appleton's third club of the season after he led beleaguered League One club Portsmouth, while he will be Rovers' third manager following on from Steve Kean and Berg.

Ashley Westwood, first-team coach under Appleton at both of his previous two clubs, will join him as assistant.

In a statement released by Blackburn, Appleton said: "I am delighted to be joining such an historic club. This is a fantastic opportunity for me and I am excited about the challenge we have ahead of us. I can't wait to start working with what is a very talented group of players.

"I'd like to thank everyone at Blackpool for their efforts during my time there and the chairman for allowing me to come here. I wish them all the best for the future.''

Rovers' managing director Derek Shaw said: "We are delighted to welcome both Michael and Ashley to the football club. They are both highly regarded within the game and we are confident that they have the drive and ambition to take this club forward.

"We will do everything in our powers to support them in our quest to make an instant return to the Premier League.''

Appleton won two and drew seven of 11 league games in charge of Blackpool, with his final victory a 2-0 triumph over Blackburn at Bloomfield Road on December 15.

Caretaker-manager Gary Bowyer will take charge of Blackburn for the final time when they travel to Wolves on Friday evening.

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