Chance to focus purely on football was too good for Appy

Michael Appleton has revealed the opportunity to focus purely on football was the driving force behind his decision to join Blackpool.

The 36-year-old quit Fratton Park last night to link up with the Championship club on a one-year rolling contract.

It ended a stay on the south coast which started in November 2011 and would coincide with yet more tough times for the on-going crisis club.

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Throughout it all, Appleton remained a dignified figurehead, becoming a highly-popular figure among many of the Fratton faithful in the process.

Now, following days of speculation, he and first-team coach Ashley Westwood have made the switch to Bloomfield Road.

In return, Pompey received compensation for a manager who still had two-and-a-half years remaining on his contract.

And Appleton is relishing the chance not to be distracted by endless off-the-field woes.

He said: ‘The opportunity to come to Blackpool just to be a manager, and just work with the players, instead of having to deal with all sorts of off-the-field issues is something I can’t wait for.

‘I think it’s made me a better manager, but only time will tell with that.

‘I genuinely think the experiences we’ve had over the last 12 months will certainly help me in the coming years.

‘I’m not 37 until next month, but I feel I’ve experienced in football what a 47 to 50-year-old would probably have in his management career.

‘As long as I utilise the skills that I’ve picked up, then hopefully we’ll be okay.’

Appleton’s first match in charge will be a home clash against Bolton on Saturday.