Michael Appleton: Blackburn Rovers announce new manager

Blackburn Rovers have appointed Michael Appleton as their new manager.

The former Blackpool boss becomes Blackburn's third permanent manager of the season, following the departures of Steve Kean and Henning Berg.

Appleton agreed terms on a two-and-a-half year deal on Friday after the Seasiders gave Rovers permission to speak to him.

The 37-year-old's reign at Bloomfield Road lasted just 65 days, having left Portsmouth on 7 November.

"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," said Appleton, who will be joined at Ewood Park by assistant Ashley Westwood.

Blackburn Rovers & Blackpool: Managerial timeline

Henning Berg

28 September: Steve Kean "forced to resign" as manager of Blackburn Rovers

31 October: Former Blackburn defender Henning Berg appointed as Kean's successor

3 November: Ian Holloway leaves Blackpool to become manager of Crystal Palace

7 November: Michael Appleton departs Portsmouth to take charge at Bloomfield Road

27 December: Berg sacked by Blackburn after just 57 days in charge of Rovers

10 January: Blackpool reject, then accept, Blackburn's approach to speak to Appleton regarding managerial vacancy at Ewood Park

11 January: Appleton appointed Blackburn manager, ending his 65-day reign at Blackpool

"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."

Appleton was appointed shortly before Friday's match at Wolves, which finished 1-1 and lifted Rovers up to 12th in the Championship table.

It meant that Rovers won three and drew one under caretaker boss Gary Bowyer since Berg's brief tenure was ended on 27 December.

And after Friday's match, Bowyer said: "We're delighted we've got a manager coming in who can provide us with some stability.

"He's worked under several good managers and he's a good coach. I know that from when he was in charge of the youth team at West Bromwich Albion.

"We're looking forward to working with him. He gave me a call before kick off and wished us all the best. We're all going out scouting tomorrow (Saturday) and we'll meet on Monday morning."

Blackpool won two, lost two and drew eight of their 12 matches under Appleton, who replaced Ian Holloway following the Bristolian's departure to Crystal Palace.

Steve Thompson, who led Thursday's training session while Appleton was in discussions with Blackpool chairman Karl Oyston about his future, has taken temporary charge of first-team affairs.

Rovers made their move for Appleton on Wednesday evening, only for their initial approach to be rejected.

However, after further discussions between the two Lancashire clubs, Rovers were granted permission to speak to Appleton late on Thursday afternoon.

"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," said managing director Derek Shaw..

"We will do everything in our powers to support them in our quest to make an instant return to the Premier League."

A tough-tackling midfielder during his playing career, Appleton started at Manchester United, playing twice for the Red Devils in the League Cup before leaving for Preston.

He won the Division Two [now League One] title with North End in 2000 and was later part of the West Bromwich Albion squad that won promotion to the Premier League in 2001-02.

However, a serious knee injury suffered in a training session mid-way through that promotion campaign resulted in his premature retirement from the game in 2003, at the age of 27.

His coaching career began at The Hawthorns soon afterwards, serving under Roberto Di Matteo and Roy Hodgson before being handed his first managerial role by Portsmouth in November 2011.

But Pompey's financial troubles dominated his year-long spell at Fratton Park.

Appleton was unable to save them from relegation to League One at the end of last season, and with the future of the club in serious jeopardy, his entire first-team squad was forced to leave in the summer.

Assistant manager Steve Thompson will take charge of the Seasiders at Charlton on Saturday.

Bradford manager Phil Parkinson has turned down the chance to speak to the Bloomfield Road club about replacing Appleton.