LONDON (Reuters) – Blackburn Rovers manager Michael Appleton could be the subject of a pub-quiz question in years to come after continuing his nomadic FA Cup adventure on Saturday.
Five weeks after taking over the ailing Championship (second tier) club, Appleton guided Rovers into the quarter-finals with a shock 1-0 victory at Arsenal.
That in itself is a notable achievement but Appleton’s real claim to fame is he has managed three clubs in the FA Cup in a single season.
He was in charge at third tier Portsmouth when the cash-strapped club were beaten in the first round by Notts County before leaving for the briefest of spells at second tier Blackpool, drawing a third-round tie 1-1, before jumping ship again to take over at Blackburn.
Rovers are unbeaten in six games since he took the helm and are also in the race for a Championship playoff place – so the chances are this could be a longer partnership.
"Everyone knows the trouble which came with the job at Portsmouth and I had a brief stint at Blackpool when I ended up with a 1-1 draw at Fulham in the last round," Appleton told reporters.
"Then I was lucky enough to win for Blackburn in the FA Cup at Derby but this is the icing on top of the cake."
Asked jokingly which club he would lead in the quarter-finals, Appleton replied: "I certainly hope it’s Blackburn".
He was glowing in his praise for match-winner Colin Kazim-Richards after his 72nd-minute goal made it a miserable day for the club he supported as a schoolboy and trained with.
East London-born Kazim-Richards, 26, is a Turkey international who is on loan from Galatasaray, a club he has represented in the Champions League.
A colourful and sometimes controversial career also saw him play for Galatasaray’s arch-rivals Fenerbahce but he now finds himself trying to hoist Rovers back into the top flight after they were relegated last year.
"Kaz has been fantastic for the last five games and has played in a couple of different roles," Appleton said.
"I am delighted he got the reward for all his work. It was not the greatest of strikes … but he got the bit of luck he deserved.
"He is a powerful lad and quite humble and I think he’s misunderstood by a lot of people," added Appleton.
(Editing by Tony Jimenez)
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