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Michael Appleton: Blackpool sack head coach after seven months in charge

Michael Appleton oversaw seven wins from his 29 games in charge during his second spell at Blackpool
Michael Appleton oversaw seven wins from his 29 games in charge during his second spell at Blackpool

Blackpool have sacked head coach Michael Appleton after just seven months in charge, following a run of one win in 11 games.

Assistant head coach David Kerslake will also leave the Championship club, who are second bottom of the table.

“The club would like to thank Michael and David for their efforts during their time at Bloomfield Road and wish them all the best,” a statement said.

The Seasiders said they hope to name a replacement “in the coming days”.

Appleton was appointed by Blackpool for the second time in June 2022, on a four-year contract, as replacement for Neil Critchley, who left to join Steven Gerrard’s backroom team at Aston Villa.

His second spell in charge was longer than his first, when he spent just 65 days at the helm during the 2012-13 season before leaving to join Blackburn Rovers, having won two out of 13 matches.

His departure, which comes with the club three points adrift of safety in the second tier, means 14 of the 24 Championship sides have now changed managers this season.

The former Portsmouth, Oxford United and Lincoln City boss leaves Blackpool after winning seven games out of 29 during his second spell with the club.

Their most recent victory came when they knocked Premier League side Nottingham Forest out of the FA Cup at the third-round stage, but their form in the league has seen them fall into a relegation battle.

The Seasiders are without a win in the Championship since beating Coventry on 29 October, with the club picking up just four points from a possible 30 since then.

Analysis – ‘Imperative Blackpool appoint successor quickly’

BBC Radio Lancashire’s Andy Bayes

Michael Appleton’s second spell in charge of Blackpool was longer than the first but only just scraped seven months.

He knew from the outset that winning over the fans was going to be a difficult task, following a 13-match run in charge a decade ago and it never really felt like he had done.

Wins were hard to come by and six defeats in their past 10 championship matches really sealed his fate.

Perhaps the only surprise is that he was allowed to recruit three players for the first team this month, including the return on loan of Josh Bowler.

Blackpool say they hope to announce a new head coach in the coming days and it’s difficult to predict which route they take. Since Simon Sadler took control of Blackpool, they’ve re-appointed two experienced managers in Simon Grayson and Michael Appleton, but they’ve also given Neil Critchley his first taste of front line management.

It’s imperative that they move quickly to give Appleton’s successor time to assess the squad and pinpoint areas in need of strengthening before 31 January.