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Rovers stunned by Appleton exit, says Dunn
10:25am Saturday 23rd March 2013 in Sport
BLACKBURN Rovers ace David Dunn admitted the players have been left stunned by the third Ewood Park managerial casualty this season, but has vowed not to let it derail their Championship survival bid.
The long-serving midfielder revealed he felt Michael Appleton was the man to bring stability back to Blackburn, after a season of change and turmoil.
The 37-year-old’s dismissal, just 67 days after he took charge, has put Venky’s running of the club under the spotlight again, with football officials including League Managers’ Association chief executive Richard Bevan slamming the decision as “nonsense”.
Speaking exclusively to the Lancashire Telegraph, Dunn accepted a run of one win from 10 league and cup games, including an FA Cup quarter final exit at the hands of Millwall, had not been good enough.
But after picking up the pieces of the ill-fated reins of Steve Kean and Henning Berg, he felt Rovers were on the right track under Appleton.
“I certainly felt he was a good coach and he brought some good members of staff with him. I feel disappointed for him because having been there, of all the stuff we’ve had to put up with in the couple of years this was the one time it was starting to feel like getting back to being a proper football club,” said Dunn.
“I’m sure Michael Appleton would have been the first to admit that results could have been better and maybe should have been better. But likewise I think we needed to perhaps go through those disappointing results in the short-term to have any success in the long-term.
“It’s necessary now to have some stability to the place and perhaps he could have done that.
“I don’t know who made the decision in the end to relieve him of his duties but it’s disappointing.
“I’m sure to a lot of people in the outside world ... well, it doesn’t look good.
“It deflates me.
“It came as a shock to say the least,” added Dunn, who heard of Appleton’s exit after seeing it on television.
“For whatever reason the club may or may not have for doing it, it isn’t ideal to have five, maybe six, managers in a season.
“Things certainly need to be sorted.”
But Dunn stressed that whatever goes on behind the scenes, the players and coaching staff will pull together to keep Rovers up.
Although they find themselves just four points above the drop zone going in to the last nine games of the season, the midfielder is confident they can overcome the latest managerial upheaval to steer clear of relegation under the watch of Gary Bowyer, who has been placed in caretaker charge for the remainder of the season.
“I’m quite a positive kind of person and I would always look at that game in hand and think if we win that we can move up the table quite a lot,” he said.
“We’re disappointed with certain things, but I still have confidence and faith in our group to go on.
“It’s not easy but we’ve just got to focus on our next game against Blackpool, and I’m sure Gaz (Gary Bowyer) and Terry (McPhillips) will set us up right.”
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