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Mar 19, 2013

Appleton sacked by Blackburn

Blackburn Rovers have confirmed the sacking of manager Michael Appleton after just two months in charge at Ewood Park.

• Jolly on Appleton's demise

Appleton only joined the club from Championship rivals Blackpool in January, but the 37-year-old has been shown the door after just 67 days.

Rovers are currently 18th in the table, just four points off relegation, having gained just two points from their last five league games and without a win in their last seven matches in all competitions.

The club's academy coach, Gary Bowyer, has been put in charge until the end of the season. Bowyer won three of his four games in charge over the turn of the year as caretaker between Henning Berg's sacking and Appleton's arrival.

A short statement on the club's website said: "Blackburn Rovers FC can confirm that Michael Appleton has been relieved of his duties as manager along with assistant manager Ashley Westwood, first team coach Darren Moore and head of senior recruitment Luke Dowling."

Appleton later added in a separate statement: "I am disappointed to be leaving Blackburn Rovers. I would like to thank the players and wish them all the best for the rest of the season. I would also like to say thanks to the fans who have made me feel so welcome over the past few months."

ESPN understands that Appleton's appointment was made by the club's managing director Derek Shaw and operations director Paul Agnew, and not by Rovers' global advisor Shebby Singh.

Blackburn won just four of Appleton's 15 games in charge, while they have lost six. Although one of those victories was a famous 1-0 win over Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium in the fifth round of the FA Cup, Rovers were eliminated from the competition in a 1-0 quarter-final replay defeat at home to Millwall last week.

Appleton's last match in charge saw David Dunn's late strike rescue a point in a 1-1 draw against local rivals Burnley, and he leaves the club having won just two of his ten league games in charge.

The Blackburn job was Appleton's third of the season, having begun the campaign in charge of Portsmouth before moving to Blackpool last November. He is also the third full-time manager of Rovers this term, with the club's controversial owners Venky's already dispensing with the services of Steve Kean and Berg. Kean was in charge as Rovers were relegated from the Premier League last season while Berg, his full-time replacement, lasted only 57 days at the helm.

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