Bristol City-linked Michael Appleton may not want to leave high-flying Lincoln City with the club midway through their League One promotion charge, Jamal Campbell-Ryce has suggested in an exclusive interview with Football League World.
Appleton, who has Lincoln top of League One, is one of the first three names to have been linked with becoming Dean Holden’s replacement at Ashton Gate after the 41-year-old was sacked on Tuesday.
City’s defeat to Reading in midweek was their sixth in a row and meant they’d won just three of their last 14 Championship games, with the club hierarchy relieving Holden of his duties after the loss to the Royals.
The Robins are now searching for a new manager for the second time in less than a year but Campbell-Ryce has suggested that a move for Appleton could prove difficult as he may want to see out the Imps’ promotion push.
He explained: “Michael Appleton has done really well at Lincoln. He’s got them flying.
“That might be one where it’s a project and he’s thinking: ‘I’ve got them this close, we’re over half-way in the season, do I want to see the job off at Lincoln?’. So that’ll be a difficult one.”
Campbell-Ryce was clear that City would not be short of options, however, and suggested they’re likely to be inundated with applications.
“I know this for sure, there will be plenty of suitors for this role,” claimed the former Robins winger. “There will be untold applicants and it’s a job that is one that a lot of people would want to take on.
“They just revamped the ground, it looks fantastic, the brand new training ground is finished now. So it is a very attractive job. The owner’s not shy to spend money and it’s a very strong squad.
“Like I said, I think they’ll be plenty of people chucking their CV in. It’s just now about getting the right man now to do it.
“Letting Lee go last year, for me he revolutionised that club and made the owner close to £100 million if you add it up, helped them got the new ground and the new training ground. He was let go, Dean Holden has come in and it’s probably not worked out, so whoever comes in now really has to hit the ground running and turn it around.”
Paul Cook and MK Dons’ boss Russell Martin have also been named as potential candidates but it is understood that City have not got anyone lined up as they wanted to wait until after Holden’s sacking to make any arrangements.
For the time being, Holden’s former assistant coaches Paul Simpson and Keith Downing are set to take interim charge.