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Chris Hughton close to becoming West Brom manager

Chris Hughton
Hughton is keen for another crack at the Premier League

West Brom are closing in on appointing Chris Hughton as their new manager following Sunday's sacking of Roberto di Matteo, BBC Sport understands.

More talks are scheduled on Thursday between the Premier League strugglers and former Newcastle boss Hughton, who left St James' Park in December.

The 52-year-old's immediate availability makes him an attractive proposition for the West Brom board.

Baggies caretaker boss Michael Appleton is also interested in the vacant job.

Appleton told BBC WM: "I've never hidden the fact that I wanted to be a manager since retiring."

Roy Hodgson and Sam Allardyce have also been linked with the West Brom job, but Hughton appears to be winning the race.

I felt it was responsible to look after the players, and at least they know me and they can trust me

West Brom caretaker boss Michael Appleton

The former Republic of Ireland international was sacked by Newcastle after 14 months in charge after being told the club "wanted to go in a different direction".

He has extensive coaching experience having spent 10 years as an assistant at Totenham, as well as his time with Newcastle, whom he guided back into the Premier League last season.

But BBC Radio 5 live's Midlands reporter Pat Murphy said there could be potential hitches with Hughton's support staff.

"Hughton would probably want to bring in his two trusted assistants from his Newcastle days, Paul Barron, who is out of work, and Colin Calderwood, who is Hibernian manager, so compensation to Hibs might complicate matters," Murphy stated.

"And Hughton would have to agree to work alongside Dan Ashworth, the club's highly regarded sporting and technical director."

Unless an appointment can be made in the next few days, Appleton is set to take charge of the side for the first time when fellow strugglers West Ham visit The Hawthorns on Saturday.

And the former West Brom midfielder is confident he will have the backing of the players.

"I spoke to the chairman [Jeremy Peace] and Dan Ashworth and ultimately they explained what had happened and was I prepared to take the role," added Appleton, who was in charge of the reserves during Di Matteo's reign.

"It would've been foolish not to, at the end of the day. I felt it was responsible to look after the players, and at least they know me and they can trust me.

"The first thing I did was ring Roberto, Eddie [Newton] and Ade [Mafe] just to offer my support.

"We had a good chat, they were very philosophical about the situation, and wished me all the best."

The former Manchester United and Preston midfielder denied some newspaper stories suggesting there were disagreements brewing between Di Matteo and the players, leading to the Italian losing the dressing room.

"No, no, I don't think that is the case at all, you hear stories on that all the time," Appleton insisted. "We were just going through a poor run, the facts speak for themselves."

Appleton also responded to reports that some members of the squad found Di Matteo to be cold and aloof.

"You're going to get that at any football club, people who are out of the XI are going to moan and say stuff about this, about the coaching staff, about managers - that happens all over the country and all over the world," Appleton continued.



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see also
Skinner hopes Hodgson gets West Brom job
08 Feb 11 |  West Brom
McInnes coy on West Brom job talk
07 Feb 11 |  St Johnstone
West Brom dismiss boss Di Matteo
06 Feb 11 |  West Brom
Man City 3-0 West Brom
05 Feb 11 |  Premier League
Boss Hughton sacked by Newcastle
07 Dec 10 |  Newcastle
Hodgson goes as Dalglish steps in
08 Jan 11 |  Liverpool
Blackburn sack manager Allardyce
13 Dec 10 |  Blackburn


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FROM OTHER SPORT SITES
The Independent Albion legend Batson backs Appleton to shine at Hawthorns - 12 hrs ago
GiveMeFootball.com Michael can be the apple of Albion eyes - 18 hrs ago
Sky Sports Appleton backed for Baggies job - 22 hrs ago
Clyde 2 Roberto Di Matteo Let Go By West Brom - 27 hrs ago
ITN McClaren on West Brom's radar? - 28 hrs ago


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