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Jan 10, 2013

Rovers allowed to speak to Appleton

Blackpool have allowed Blackburn Rovers permission to speak to manager Michael Appleton, with the club keen to appoint him according to managing director Derek Shaw.

Earlier this week, Blackburn made a formal approach to speak to Appleton, who took charge of Blackpool in November, as they seek a replacement for Henning Berg.

Initial reports suggested that the approach had been dismissed, but Rovers have not yet abandoned their pursuit of the former Portsmouth boss and have now been allowed to open talks.

"We're in discussion, if that can be adequate," Shaw said. "If there's anything later we'll certainly let you know."

Blackpool also confirmed the news via a statement on their official website, which read: "Blackpool FC can confirm that following discussions with Blackburn Rovers and Michael Appleton, permission has been granted for the manager and Ashley Westwood to discuss personal terms with the club."

Appleton has only won two of his 12 games in charge of Blackpool and was a surprise choice by the Blackburn powerbrokers, but speculation continued on Thursday as he was absent from training which was taken by assistant manager Steve Thompson ahead of the weekend trip to Charlton.

It is understood the approach for Appleton came from Shaw and operations director Paul Agnew, rather than other factions at Ewood Park. Remarkably, Shaw and Agnew are also thought to have favoured the then-Blackpool manager, Ian Holloway, when Berg was appointed in October.

Reserve-team manager Gary Bowyer is currently in charge of Blackburn. He is their fourth manager of the season after Steve Kean, who resigned, caretaker Eric Black and Berg, whose reign only lasted ten games and 57 days.

Rovers have won all three matches under Bowyer but remain in the wrong half of the Championship. They face Wolves on Friday in Dean Saunders' first game as manager at Molineux.

Information from the Press Association was used in this report

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