Bristol City have identified Lincoln City chief Michael Appleton as their top target to replace Lee Johnson as boss at Ashton Gate.
Johnson has departed Ashton Gate after a long-term association with the Robins, with their form in the Championship leading to them stumbling back into mid-table from a strong position in the promotion race.
The search for his successor is underway now, with D3D4 Football reporting how Appleton is the leading candidate to step into his shoes at Ashton Gate.
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The report details how Appleton’s previous work with Mark Ashton at Oxford United, which was hugely successful, has heightened the Bristol City CEO’s eagerness to appoint him. There’s a hefty compensation sum on Appleton’s head, though.
Appleton has been Lincoln boss for just under a year now, with the 44-year-old stepping into the void left by Danny and Nicky Cowley at Sincil Bank when they opted to move to Huddersfield Town.
At the time of the League One season’s curtailment, the Imps were sat 16th in the table, with Appleton overseeing a reasonable spell that had all-but secured the club’s status in the third-tier.
Appleton would be an interesting appointment at Bristol City, but questions would be raised whether he’s an upgrade on Johnson.
Johnson was hugely successful at Ashton Gate, but struggled to get the Robins over the line in the race for the play-offs. Would Appleton be the man to get them moving in the right direction? That’s extremely tough to say.
However, at a time when standout candidates are at a minimum, Appleton could come in and build a new legacy at Ashton Gate, with the view going a step further than Johnson.
He’s done good work at a number of clubs and has enough about him to manage in the Championship.
Thoughts? Let us know!