Date: 14th October 2012 at 9:27am
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Who will be the new manager following the departure of Eddie Howe back to his former club, AFC Bournemouth last Friday? We have already discussed the controversial prospect of former gaffer Owen Coyle returning to Turf Moor so we now look at another early favourite, Portsmouth manager, Michael Appleton.

Appleton now appears to be one of bookies’ firm favourites with odds yesterday having dropped from 6/1 earlier in the day to 11/4.

If Appleton is on the club’s radar they could face still opposition from Bolton Wanderers who are also in the market for a new manager following the sacking of former Burnley boss, Owen Coyle just a few days before Howe left.

The 36 year old was keen to play down links to either club telling the press:

“I have not spoken to anyone from Bolton and I haven`t talked to Burnley, either,

“It is nice to be linked because it means you are doing something right.”

It is possible though that he could be attracted by either club if he is interested in making a return to the North West. The former Preston and West Brom midfielder was born in Salford and could be tempted to return to his roots.

Appleton’s first move into management was as first-team coach at West Brom following his appointment to the position in June 2009. After the Baggies board sacked Roberto Di Matteo and placed him on gardening leave in February 2011, Appleton became caretaker manager.

In November 2011, financially stricken club Portsmouth announced that Appleton was now their new manager after agreeing a three-and-a-half year contract. It was simply a baptism of fire at the club but one in which he hit the ground running and received a lot of praise for his efforts. Despite being at the helm when Pompey suffered their second administration and subsequently being unable to prevent Portsmouth’s relegation into the third tier of league football at the end of the 2011-12 season, Appleton rose to the challenge earning the respect of the fanbase for being open and honest about the club’s predicament.

I many ways, Appleton could be the ideal candidate if the main criteria is to recruit a manager who is used to working with mimimum resources and a small budget. Compared to Portsmouth, Burnley’s finances could seem like luxury to Appleton! He could be a risk though considering he has been unable to demonstrate any success to date and indeed albeit under somewhat very difficult circumstances could not prevent Portsmouth being relegated to League One.

He does though have Championship experience at least so in that sense with better players and less financial pressure could be the right man to motivate the team and get them motoring up the league.

What do you think about Appleton potentially being our new manager? Let us know beneath this article.

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