Former West Brom, Man Utd & Portsmouth man emerges as new favourite for League One job

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Charlton were the first EFL club to sack their manager this season

A former West Brom player and coach is leading the race to become the new manager of Charlton Athletic, according to the bookmakers.

The South-East London side recently became the first team in the EFL to sack their manager this season and Dean Holden was dismissed after a poor run of form which saw his side win just one of their opening five league games. The Addicks returned to winning ways in their next match and claimed a 2-1 win at The Valley against Fleetwood, which resulted in the second managerial sacking of the season with Scott Brown leaving Highbury Stadium.

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Charlton are now out of action until 16 September due to the international break, which offers the board the perfect opportunity to search for their fifth different boss in two and half years. A number of names have been linked with the post as Charlton aim to return to the second-tier for the first time since 2020. 

Former Portsmouth boss Dan Cowley and recently sacked Hibs boss Lee Johnson were all tipped for the Charlton job alongside last season’s play-off winner Darren Moore. But the new favourite to take over at The Valley is former West Brom player and head coach Michael Appleton - who is currently 4/6 with the bookmakers.

The Manchester United academy graduate signed for the Baggies in January 2001 in a £750,000 deal from Preston North End. He established himself as a first team regular that season as the West Midlands side missed out on the Championship play-offs.

West Brom went one better the following year and won automatic promotion into the top-flight. Appleton was a member of that team, but his career was ultimately cut short due to a cruciate ligament injury in November 2001 and he hung up his boots in November 2003 after a two-year battle with injury.

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Appleton’s retirement was described by Megson as one of his “saddest days” as a manager. But Appleton’s West Brom journey was far from over and he stayed on as a coach for the next eight years, progressing from youth team coach, to first team coach and eventually becoming the first team manager.

Appleton’s time in the West Brom dugout was short lived and he took temporary charge of the club for just one game after the departure of Roberto Di Matteo. Appleton oversaw a 3-3 draw against West Ham and his team dropped a three goal lead in a game which saw Demba Ba score twice on his Premier League debut.

Appleton has gone on to manage the likes of Portsmouth, Blackpool (twice), Blackburn Rovers, Oxford United and Lincoln City.  He also took caretaker charge of Leicester City in the Premier league.

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