Former Lincoln City and Blackpool manager Michael Appleton has been confirmed as the new boss at fellow League One outfit Charlton Athletic, according to official club media.
The 47-year-old has been out of work since January when he departed Bloomfield Road with Blackpool in the midst of a Championship relegation battle. He has been linked with numerous jobs since, but there were concrete reports last week that he was to be interviewed for the vacant Charlton job following the sacking of Dean Holden.
Incidentally, he was reportedly shortlisted for the position alongside another former Imps boss in Danny Cowley, whilst an approach for Mumbai City head coach Des Buckingham was knocked back.
The Addicks have now confirmed Appleton’s appointment, 24 hours before tomorrow’s trip to high-flying Stevenage. In a statement, the club said;
“Charlton Athletic are delighted to confirm the appointment of Michael Appleton as Head Coach of the men’s first-team.
“Appleton, who has taken control of 420 games across each of English football’s top-four divisions during a successful coaching career to date, has signed a two-year contract with the club.”
Appleton was understandably delighted to have won the race to take over at The Valley, saying;
“I am delighted to be named as Head Coach of this proud and historic football club and would like to thank the owners, James Rodwell and Andy Scott for placing their trust in me to lead the team.
“I will give everything to deliver success for Charlton Athletic Football Club. To do this, we will all need to work together; the players, staff and supporters, we all have a part to play.
“I cannot wait to get started. I want us to develop a team that excites us all, that never gives up and that plays on the front foot. I want my players to enjoy playing for each other, to express themselves and feel comfortable in the way we aim to play. We want to build a winning mentality, starting immediately.
“It is a competitive division, and achievements take time, but work has already begun to reach the heights that this club, and you as supporters, deserve. Nothing will be taken for granted. All of us will have to work harder and towards the team ethic if we are to accomplish anything.
“I look forward to meeting everyone connected with the club over the coming days and weeks. We will listen, we will learn and we will strive to deliver something special and make you all proud.”
Charlton confirmed that the former Preston North End midfielder will take charge of his first training session today whilst his first press conference is scheduled for next week.
Michael Appleton is a manager who divided opinion during his spell with Lincoln City, although he did guide the Imps to the League One play-off final in 2021. He struggled with the transition to the Championship when taking over at Blackpool, although his experience in the third tier is clearly what brought Charlton to the table.
His time at Oxford United can also be considered a success, where he achieved promotion from League Two in 2016 before consolidating their position in League One the following season. The pressure he will be under to succeed at Charlton will provide a much sterner test though, and it will be interesting to see if he can hit the ground running.