Appleton ready to fill ‘big boots’

Michael Appleton is confident he can fill the void left by Ian Holloway and put Blackpool on course for promotion to the Premier League (20/1 Championship Outright) after being appointed the new manager at Bloomfield Road.

The 36-year-old, who signed a one-year rolling contract on Wednesday evening, admitted to being surprised at the Seasiders’ decision to move for him given that he has only had 12 months in management at cash-strapped Portsmouth.

However, having worked as a coach at West Brom for several years, including a stint as current England boss Roy Hodgson’s number two when he was in charge at the Hawthorns, Appleton is hopeful he can emulate Holloway’s successful three-year spell on the Lancashire coast.

Appleton, who will keep Holloway’s former assistant Steve Thompson in his position and has drafted in Ashley Westwood from Pompey as first-team coach, told the Blackpool Gazette: “I think there is pressure on me. Ian’s are obviously big boots to fill here.

“The staffing that’s in place will help. Thommo staying will be a big boost.

“I’m bringing Ashley Westwood with me, who I think will be very important too.

“I think we’ve got a good balance and hopefully that little bit of continuity will help.”

Appleton will be at the helm for the weekend’s home clash with Bolton (Blackpool 11/8, Bolton 15/8, Draw 12/5 Match Betting) hoping the players can follow up Tuesday’s 2-0 victory at Sheffield Wednesday and pick up another three points.

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