ALEX Ferguson, David Moyes, Roy Hodgson and Roberto Di Matteo. Michael Appleton certainly has a point when he says he has learned from the best.
But, as he prepares to take charge of Blackburn Rovers for the first time when Charlton visit Ewood Park this afternoon, the confident 37-year-old insists he will do things his way as he looks to achieve Premier League promotion.
Appleton’s arrival in the Rovers’ hot seat has been something of a whirlwind, having only been appointed as Blackpool manager two months ago, and, while he has learned from a host of mentors, he stresses the importance of believing in his own ability.
He said: “I had a fantastic education in football whether as a player or as a kid, starting as a kid at Man Utd then moving to Preston where we were very successful under a very good manager in David Moyes, who has gone on to prove himself as one of the best in the Premier League.
“Then moving on to West Brom where my career was cut short in terms of my actual playing career but then the education in terms of the coaching side kicked in.
“I have worked with some very very good managers, the likes of Tony Mowbray, Roberto Di Matteo and Roy Hodgson.
“If you have got anything about you, you will just take little bits. It is dangerous to try and model yourself on one person. You have got to be yourself. You have your own personality.
“From a personal point of view and a discipline point of view there are two or three names in there, that come right at the top of that list in terms of how they manage and control their players and run their football clubs.
“I think there are a couple in there who were more flamboyant and a little bit more laid back and you react to situations when you may have seen them react in a different way, more relaxed about it, maybe because they have come from a different culture and a different country.”
Appleton was assistant manager under Roy Hodgson at West Bromwich Albion and remains friends with the former Rovers boss.
“Roy has gone on to be England manager and I still speak to him regularly,” he said.
“He is someone who if I need an opinion will be straight with me, he won’t beat around the bush.
“When you have those type of allies in the game, when things are going wrong or not going to plan they give you an indication of two or three things you can do to rectify what’s going wrong.
“I speak to him quite regularly but because this one happened very quickly I never spoke to him directly about the Blackburn job before taking it, but I certainly spoke to him almost immediately after accepting it verbally.
“He spoke very highly of the football club. He had an indifferent time here but he said he fully enjoyed it and felt the challenge was right for me.
“We spoke about a couple of players that he’d worked with in the past in terms of Danny (Murphy) and Dickson (Etuhu), and he felt it was a challenge that was more than doable, especially for myself.”