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[Archived] News Article -> Michael Appleton Sacked

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Blackburn Rovers have announced that they have relieved Michael Appleton of his duties only 67 days into the job. The former Portsmouth and Blackpool manager had taken charge in January with the aim of guiding Rovers back to the Premier League, but a poor run of form has seen the side slip down the table and they now sit dangerously close to the relegation zone.

Appleton was Rovers' fifth manager of the season and had only been at the club for 15 matches, but he managed to pick up just 4 wins and the owners and board have made the decision that he was unlikely to turn the situation around. The highlight of his tenure was undoubtedly the FA Cup win at the Emirates that saw the side progress to the quarter-finals of the competition, but a disappointing defeat against Millwall saw the side crash out in a replay at Ewood Park. The match against Arsenal was the last time that the side won and the 8-game winless stretch has been disastrous for the league campaign. Appleton's last match in charge was against Burnley last Sunday and the side was only saved from a first defeat against their local rivals in 34 years by a last-gasp equaliser from David Dunn. Appleton was a relatively inexperienced appointment and the former West Brom player has won only 9 games during his spells at three different clubs.

It is unclear if there is anyone in line to take charge before the end of the season, but Gary Bowyer will assume caretaker duties for the second time this season. Bowyer had been in charge of the side for the four matches immediately before Appleton's appointment and guided the side to three wins and a draw. It is likely that the power struggle within the boardroom will once again be a factor during the recruitment process, but it is clear that Rovers cannot continue to change their manager on such a regular basis.

In addition to terminating the contract of Appleton, the club also announced that assistant manager Ashley Westwood, first team coach Darren Moore and head of senior recruitment Luke Dowling had also been relieved of their duties. All three had been appointed by Appleton and it leaves Rovers with a threadbare coaching staff.

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