Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 17 April 2014

Appleton vows to grasp chance

Michael Appleton

West Brom caretaker boss Michael Appleton is keen to seize the chance to earn himself the job on a permanent basis.

At 35, Appleton is the youngest man ever to be put in charge of a Premier League team, and he believes he has the personality and ability to make the most of the chance he has been given. Former Newcastle manager Chris Hughton has been strongly linked with the Hawthorns vacancy, but Appleton appears to remain firmly in contention.

"I've never hidden the fact that I want to be a manager," said the former Baggies midfielder, whose playing career was cut short by a knee injury. "I've gone out and taken all of the badges that are necessary to take that step."

He added: "I think my personality and the strengths I bring to football clubs, eventually that was always going to be the step. Now I find myself in a position where I'm taking over the side for the foreseeable future until I'm told differently, and I'm going to try to grasp the opportunity."

Appleton, who has taken over the side after previous head coach Roberto Di Matteo was placed on gardening leave, is aware his team's match against West Ham on Saturday will be seen as an audition by many people inside and outside of the club.

"Obviously people are going to see it like that," Appleton said. "It's an opportunity in terms of me taking my first game.

"It's crucial we get three points, it's a huge game.

"If I was lucky enough to get three points and the players were good enough, then beyond that, you never know.

"The only thing I can control is what we do with the players this week, make sure that they're prepared properly for the game, make sure they know everything they need to know about West Ham and how we can beat them.

"If we can get a result off the back of that, who knows?"

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