Blackburn Rovers: Gary Bowyer praises 'magnificent' squad

Outgoing caretaker manager Gary Bowyer paid tribute to a "magnificent" group of Blackburn players as he handed control of the first team to new boss Michael Appleton.

Rovers won three and drew one of their four matches under reserve coach Bowyer and youth boss Terry McPhillips.

Blackburn Rovers & Blackpool: Managerial timeline

Michael Appleton

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 (pictured) 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

Bowyer told BBC North West Sport: "It wasn't ever about me. It's always been about the players since I took over.

"They've been truly magnificent for us. I can't thank them enough."

Bowyer's short stint in charge ended with a 1-1 draw against Wolves on Friday evening.

Appleton will leave Blackpool to take the reins at Rovers and become the club's third permanent manager of the season.

His appointment was confirmed shortly before kick-off against Wolves, but the 37-year-old was not present at Molineux to watch his new side extend their unbeaten run to four games.

Jordan Rhodes put the visitors ahead from the penalty spot and Rovers would have registered a fourth straight win for the first time since October 2007, had it not been for Roger Johnson's second-half equaliser.

Blackburn had won just one of their 10 matches under previous boss Henning Berg, who was sacked on 27 December after only 57 days at Ewood Park.

But performances and results have been transformed under Bowyer, who will now revert to his previous role.

"We knew what we were entering when we were asked to look after things," he continued. "We've got a role at the club and we know what that role is.

"We've been developing players like Phil Jones (who was sold to Manchester United for a reported £17m in 2011) and Grant Hanley and Jason Lowe, who were both magnificent at Wolves. That's the role that we will go back to.

"We're delighted that 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."