Sky Sports pundit predicts immediate misery for Michael Appleton as Charlton manager
Appleton will take charge of the Addicks for the very first time this weekend against Stevenage, but David Prutton doesn’t fancy their chances
The managerial merry-go-round in the EFL often starts very early – even in the first month of the season – but many probably would not have predicted Dean Holden to be the first to depart his job as Charlton Athletic boss in 2023-24.
Despite Charlie Methven recommending Holden to former owner Thomas Sandgaard back in December 2022, one of the new owners of the Addicks was not scared to axe the 44-year-old after a poor start to the new campaign, which saw four defeats in a row following an opening day of the season win against Leyton Orient.
After several knock-backs in their search for Holden’s successor, with Darren Ferguson turning them down and an approach for Des Buckingham of Mumbai City rejected, SE7 Partners have finally got someone in place, and that is a man who knows League One well in the form of Michael Appleton.
The 47-year-old possesses a wealth of experience with the likes of Portsmouth, Lincoln City, Oxford United and Blackpool, although his second stint at the latter ended after just seven months earlier in 2023, with the Seasiders struggling in the Championship.
Appleton has been without a job since but is jumping back into work with both feet early on in the season, and he arrives at The Valley with the hierarchy having done a lot of incoming transfer business over the summer.
And Appleton certainly has a tough test in-front of him for his debut in the dugout for Charlton as he takes his side to face Stevenage, who sit top of the table going into the weekend’s action.
What has David Prutton predicted for Michael Appleton’s first game in charge of Charlton?
Appleton faces a tough task against a Stevenage side who have seemed to acclimatise pretty well to League One upon their return, and one pundit in particular in the form of David Prutton does not fancy the Addicks’ chances.
The lead presenter for Sky Sports’ EFL coverage has revealed that he thinks Appleton will be on the losing end of a result in his first match in charge of the club.
“Stevenage at the very summit (of League One) for the very first time in their history – a cracking job has been done by Steve Evans,” Prutton said via the EFL’s official Twitter account.
“He’s up against Michael Appleton and Charlton, it’s his first time in charge of Charlton Athletic – I think though Stevenage will just edge this one 2-0.”
Who will Michael Appleton have available to him vs Stevenage?
Appleton has plenty of options at his disposal for his first match, bolstered with some late transfer window activity before his appointment with the loan additions of James Abankwah, Tennai Watson, Slobodan Tedic and Louie Watson.
The only definite absentee is Conor McGrandles, who is struggling with a knee issue and has only appeared once so far this season.
Scott Fraser, Panutche Camara and Chuks Aneke will all be assessed ahead of Appleton’s squad selection, with the latter yet to make an appearance so far in 2023-24 after his long-standing fitness struggles.
Aside from that though, Appleton has a number of experienced and young options to call upon for his first starting 11, so it will be interesting to see how Charlton line up at the Lamex Stadium this weekend.