Former Rovers manager Michael Appleton has taken over at Championship side Blackpool for a second time.

The Tangerines were hit by the shock departure of Neil Critchley who joined Aston Villa as assistant manager earlier this month. Their search had looked to end with a move for Derby County assistant manager Liam Rosenior, but it is Appleton who has been appointed on a four-year deal.

The 46-year-old arrives having left his position at Lincoln City at the end of last season, after almost 150 games in charge, and returns for a second spell at Blackpool.

He left Bloomfield Road January 2012 after only two months in charge to take over at Rovers but lasted only 67 days before being sacked.

“I am absolutely delighted to be here. To be able to come back to the club, with where the club is at during this moment in time, after two really successful seasons, I can’t wait to get started,” Appleton said.

“When I spoke to Simon, to Ben, John and Brett, you could clearly feel the energy in the room, and I think they felt that from me as well. This club now feels like the right club at the right time.

“The fans will certainly have seen glimpses of what I tried to do in my days at Lincoln.

“I want to play aggressive, forward-thinking football and we have certain things that we want from the players when we’re playing, dependent on opposition clearly. We just want to be exciting and get people off their seats.”

Appleton led Lincoln to the League One play-off final in 2021, only to miss out to Blackpool, who finished 15th in the Championship last term.

Owner Simon Sadler said “I would like to take this opportunity to welcome Michael back to Blackpool.

“I am very much looking forward to seeing what he can achieve during his second stint with us.  

“While success cannot be guaranteed, Ben, Brett, John and I are convinced that, after a thorough recruitment process, he’s the right man for us at this point in our journey.

“All of the prospective head coaches were strong candidates and we spent several hours with each to get to know them better.

“After debating their individual pros and cons, we were unanimous in our decision to choose Michael Appleton.” 


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