Appleton named new Blackburn boss

Blackburn have confirmed the appointment of Michael Appleton as their new manager.

Appleton becomes Rovers' third boss this season despite only taking up the reins at npower Championship counterparts Blackpool two months ago.

The 37-year-old former Manchester United and Preston midfielder, who began the season in charge of League One Portsmouth, has agreed a two-and-a-half year deal at Ewood Park. Ashley Westwood, first-team coach under Appleton at both of his previous two clubs, will join him as assistant.

In a statement released by Blackburn, Appleton said: "I am delighted to be joining such an historic club. This is a fantastic opportunity for me and I am excited about the challenge we have ahead of us. I can't wait to start working with what is a very talented group of players.

"I'd like to thank everyone at Blackpool for their efforts during my time there and the chairman for allowing me to come here. I wish them all the best for the future."

Rovers' managing director Derek Shaw said: "We are delighted to welcome both Michael and Ashley to the football club.

"They are both highly regarded within the game and we are confident that they have the drive and ambition to take this club forward. We will do everything in our powers to support them in our quest to make an instant return to the Premier League."

Hours before the appointment was confirmed by Blackburn, Blackpool chairman Karl Oyston dismissed the notion that a fall-out caused his manager's departure amid reports of Appleton's discontent over transfer policy.

"There's been no big bust-up as some people would like to imagine," he told Sky Sports News.

"What we told Michael when we first saw him and interviewed him, Matt Williams (Blackpool's club secretary) and myself, is exactly what we were doing in practice. So, no change and no upheaval. Michael's just had a better offer and understandably wanted to grab that better offer."

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