Appleton's Growing Enthusiasm
New assistant manager Michael Appleton has spoke of how he's relishing Leicester City's coming Premier League campaign and about how he couldn't turn down the opportunity of moving to the club - even though some would say moving from manager to assistant manager was a step backwards.
The former Oxford United manager has been warmly welcomed by club staff and players and he admitted that teaming up again with Craig Shakespeare was a big pull and rather than a step back, he felt this was a wonderful opportunity to learn and develop more.
Speaking to lcfc.com the 41 year old explained.
'I am very excited, obviously. It came around very quickly. The opportunity to come and work in the Premier League and at a club that very recently was champions of England, and only last season was competing in the Champions League was a big pull. It is an achievement that did wonders for the game and for the Premier League. Obviously expectations come with that type of achievement.'
He went on to say.
'Last year obviously the Champions League was a new experience for everyone at the Club and to reach the quarter-finals and push Atletico as strongly as they did says a lot about the achievements of the last two years, the rise and climb the Club has had.'
Teaming up with Shakey again and rekindling their working relationship that began many years ago at West Bromwich Albion, well Appleton was grateful for the experience he now has.
'It is exciting for me and I feel honoured. It is a relationship that started over 20 years ago now. I remember turning up at Grimsby Town as a loan player from Man Utd and meeting him then. We worked together at West Brom for about three or four years around the reserves and the youth team.'
He added that he felt his experience as being a manager in his own right would give him some good indicators of how he can support Shakespeare moving forward.
'He has taken that on board and thought 'You know what? He could do a good job for us.` After all this time we have the opportunity to work together again. I think now having been a manager I understand what is needed in terms of the support for the manager, and then again to come in and know that I am working with someone I have known for 20 years, and I trust. I know from a values and culture point of view we have got similar points of view on those things.'
Reflecting on his time at Oxford where he took them into League One and two Football League Trophy Finals, he ended by explaining.
'The first few months at Oxford were very tough. In the January of my first season we had to make a lot of changes to staff and players. From there it was quite strange. It was one of them where for two-and-a-half years everything was on an upward curve. We finished the season really well and did fantastically in the second season, getting promotion and getting to Wembley.'
'Having to lose two or three of your best players the next season was difficult but the players who came in dealt with it quite well. It has been a period of my life I won`t forget. It is an opportunity now for me to work in the Premier League as I did at West Brom. It is something I am really excited about.'