Blackpool have announced the appointment of Michael Appleton as their new head coach.

Appleton succeeds Neil Critchely, who left to become part of Steven Gerrard’s coaching set-up at Aston Villa.

Wanderers boss Ian Evatt had been linked with the position, having spent seven years at Bloomfield Road as a player.

Appleton’s first spell at Blackpool came to an end in 2013 and he has since managed Blackburn, Oxford and more recently Lincoln.

“I am absolutely delighted to be here. To be able to come back to the club, with where the club is at during this moment in time, after two really successful seasons, I can’t wait to get started,” he told the club’s website.

“This club now feels like the right club at the right time. The fans will certainly have seen glimpses of what I tried to do in my days at Lincoln.

“I want to play aggressive, forward-thinking football and we have certain things that we want from the players when we’re playing, dependent on opposition clearly. We just want to be exciting and get people off their seats.”

Liam Rosenior and Michael Duff had also been linked with the Bloomfield Road position, though the latter has now taken charge at Barnsley.

“I would like to take this opportunity to welcome Michael back to Blackpool. I am very much looking forward to seeing what he can achieve during his second stint with us,” added owner Simon Sadler.

“All of the prospective head coaches were strong candidates and we spent several hours with each to get to know them better.

“After debating their individual pros and cons, we were unanimous in our decision to choose Michael Appleton.”

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