Nevertheless, Appleton talks frankly and what he has to say shows realism and make sense. He admits that he has made mistakes, but he is tried to learn from them. There is something to be said for experience even if the record is mixed which is perhaps unavoidable in the lower leagues.
The FLP is rightly critical of our recent troubles:
- 'The Addicks have churned through owners and managers at a prodigious rate in recent years and appear a club perpetually poised on a brink if crisis'
- 'A youthful side - that for all its potential - looks desperately raw'
- 'Charlton have now changed manager mid-season for a fourth successive season;
Appleton says that he wants to take the club back into the Championship 'and then to be competitive there. But for us to do that, there's a lot of work that needs to be done. A hell of a lot. There's stuff that needs to be sorted out and rectified before you can even think of promotion.'
'Yes, the club's got great tradition. It's a very, very big fanbase, especially when you give them something to shout about. But, for me, the potential of these players to improve - and fast - that was the big attraction.'
'I want to improve the intensity in the way in which we play. That's not just out of possession, going round kicking people and getting in people's faces. It's how we move the ball. I want to see this team press the ball forward much more than it has done. If you look at my previous teams, that doesn't mean going gung-ho or playing 50- and 60-yard passes straight to the striker.'
'Be positive. Try things. And if you make mistakes, makes sure they're positive mistakes. Don't give the ball away because you've been tentative or unsure. Give it away because you tried to do something progressive.'
'League One is as open as it's been for a long, long time. In previous seasons there have been three or four really big clubs who've had the budgets and squads to cope with 46 games a lot better than most teams at this level.'
Appleton seems to realise that his tenure may be limited: 'If I can be the person who starts that fightback, it's not a bad legacy is it?'