MICHAEL Appleton will be unveiled to the press today – finally – to mark the start of a regime that everyone hopes will finally turn the club’s fortunes around once and for all.
Enough has been said about the club’s owners over the past two years and it probably won’t be long before they hit the headlines again.
But, for now, let’s concentrate on what we all really care about – and that is the football.
You get the feeling the next few months are going to be a very important period in the club’s long-term future.
Supporters need to see real improvement on the field consistently – like they have for the past four games – to really start believing there is a way forward for their club.
Henning Berg knew promotion was the “minimum and maximum” – as Shebby Singh stated – this season and duly paid the price very quickly, when it became obvious he would not deliver.
You would not imagine Venky’s ambitions have changed and nor should they.
If Rovers are not promoted this season then there will surely have to be a dramatic change to the playing squad.
The big wages the players are currently on would not be sustainable, while many of the players will be looking for a move back to the big time.
Failure to get back into the Premier League at the first attempt – something that looks a tough task – should not automatically spell the end for the new man though.
As long as there are signs of potential and improvement then Appleton deserves a chance to get the project right.
The owners have backed him, they need to follow that through with real support – something Berg never got.
I have no doubt Appleton will get a good welcome from the fans at Ewood Park on Saturday.
The majority at least seem prepared to give him the chance he deserves – and they won’t let the minority drag them down.
Anything but 100 per cent backing for the new manager would be baffling and it is refreshing to see that most – not all admittedly – share that opinion.
Appleton has walked into the lion’s den.
Yes, he is being handsomely paid and yes, he knows exactly what he has let himself in for.
But we have to hope that this is third time lucky.
After the last two managers failed to work effectively under this chaotic regime, Rovers’ future lies with the hope that Appleton can.
He can only be judged on that.