Oxford Manager Linked With England U21 Job
Gareth Southgate is still looking for a replacement for himself as England U21 manager with it most recently claimed Oxford's Michael Appleton could be the man the FA turn to.
As a Pompey fan myself Appleton - from his time at Fratton Park - is someone I know pretty well and know he arrived on the south coast with a big reputation as a coach for the work he managed as a coach at West Brom. For various reasons it didn't quite work at Fratton for him, largely owing to off the field issues to be fair.
However, after leaving Pompey he had failed spells at both Blackpool and Blackburn - hardly clubs that could be viewed as much more 'stable' than the Blues were - that left his reputation in tatters.
Appleton's rebuilt this at Oxford by guiding them to promotion from league two last season and having them well placed in league one this term. This has now seen him mentioned as a strong favourite to become England U21 manager.
This wasn't something he said he was aware about though when telling BBC Radio Oxford:
'Speculation is speculation, but as far as I'm concerned there's nothing I'm aware of.'
Despite playing down the rumours and saying he hadn't applied for the job it was admitted by the 41 year old he would find it hard to turn down an approach if it came.
'I think it would be hard for anyone to not want to manage an England side, and certainly one of the top two jobs in the country. I would be a very stupid man to say I would never be interested in that.'
Aidy Boothroyd had stepped up from his England U20 post to fill in for Southgate and could yet be the one who lands the U21 job on a permanent basis. But perhaps Appleton - who I'm sure had previously been mentioned in connection with an FA position under Roy Hodgson - is the man for this appointment?
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