Championship Portsmouth have appointed Michael Appleton as their new manager on a three-and-a-half year deal. The 35 year old arrives from West Bromwich Albion where he was assistant to Roy Hodgson. >p> Former Preston midfielder Appleton said: "I'm delighted and excited to be taking the job and hopefully I can share that enthusiasm and excitement out around the club.
"It's going to be a progressive challenge. You get judged on results and the first team is the most important thing, but we want to build the infrastructure of the club, developing the academy and hopefully along the line getting our own training ground. Things like recruitment will be key.
"Hopefully, with a sensible approach, we can take the club forward.
"It was very difficult to leave West Brom because I had spent nearly a third of my life there and had made a lot of good friends and worked with good people.
"But it was time for me to take on a different challenge, and this is one I'm really excited about.
"Portsmouth have fantastic traditions and the supporters are renowned throughout the football world for being very loud and getting behind the team. We want to give them something to shout about.
"A few years ago Portsmouth were a successful Premier League club. I would like to think I can help the people at the football club achieve that again."
Pompey chief executive David Lampitt said: "We are delighted to welcome Michael as our new first-team manager. He fought off very strong opposition to get the job from a high quality field of candidates.
"We were looking for somebody young, forward-thinking and ambitious who wanted to be part of our longer-term plans for Portsmouth Football Club. Michael has an excellent track record as a coach with a positive mentality about the game and the way it should be played.
"He also has great experience of developing players through from youth team level to the first team.
"We wanted an individual with good knowledge of, and successful track record in, the Championship. Importantly we also wanted someone who would fit in with the existing coaching infrastructure at the club.
"As a board, we laid down a set of criteria that we were looking for in the new manager and we have not diverted from that. It's fair to say Michael started out as a bit of a dark horse in the selection process but he ended up the unanimous choice.
"He is a hands-on coach with a fantastic reputation in the game. He's positive and analytically astute, coming here with the experience of being an integral part of a very well-run football club for the best part of a decade.
"He shares our desire and commitment to take the club forward in the right way, and we know that he has a big career in management ahead of him. We also know our supporters and everyone at the club will welcome him and get behind him and the team."