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Malawi U20 striker Mwakilama dies at 18

Malawi
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Appleton appointed Blackpool manager

Michael Appleton has been named Blackpool's new manager after agreeing to an early release from his contract with Portsmouth.

Appleton, 36, will move to Bloomfield Road immediately and attempt to get Blackpool's season back on track after a promising start to their Championship campaign.

Blackpool confirmed that Appleton would succeed Ian Holloway on the terms of a one-year rolling contract, meaning performances will be a major influence on his tenure at the club.

Appleton was lauded for his efforts with Portsmouth in what was his first managerial role and he will be joined by incumbent first team coach Ashley Westwood who also makes the move from Pompey.

Blackpool were defeated in the Championship play-off final last season and it is their ambition of re-entering the Premier League that encouraged Appleton to take the job.

"Getting the opportunity to come to a club that has had a lot of success over previous seasons is obviously a big part of wanting to be a part of it," Appleton told Blackpool's official website. "I met a few of the coaching staff a little bit earlier, we just had a bit of a chat and I got a feel for the place. I'm just desperate to mee the players now and crack on with the job.

"As a new manager coming in you want to bring a few ideas to the new football club and the team but I think they've got to be small steps in doing that because if it's not broken then don't mend it, just tweak it a little bit."

In a club statement on Portsmouth's official website, Pompey lamented the loss of Appleton and insisted they tried to keep him in charge of the League One side.

"Portsmouth Football Club can confirm that we reluctantly gave Michael Appleton permission to speak to Blackpool and that he has since agreed to become their new manager," the statement said. "Michael has done an incredible job in very difficult circumstances at Pompey and we have done what we can to keep him at Fratton Park.

"However, he is an ambitious manager with a growing reputation and has deservedly attracted interest from other clubs. First-team coach Ashley Westwood has also left Pompey to link up with Appleton at Blackpool. We thank them both for the work they have done here and wish them well for the future."

Information from the Press Association was used in this report

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