Despite Charlie Methven recommending Holden to former owner Thomas Sandgaard in December 2022, one of the Addicks’ new owners was not afraid to sack the 44-year-old following a poor start to the new season, which saw four defeats in a row following an opening day of the season win against Leyton Orient.
After repeated setbacks in their quest for Holden’s replacement, including rejections from Darren Ferguson and an approach from Mumbai City for Des Buckingham, SE7 Partners have finally found someone in Michael Appleton, a man who knows League One well.

The 47-year-old has played for Portsmouth, Lincoln City, Oxford United, and Blackpool, albeit his second stint at the latter ended just seven months earlier in 2023, with the Seasiders suffering in the Championship.

Appleton has been unemployed since then, but he is returning to work with both feet this season, and he returns at The Valley with the hierarchy having done a lot of incoming transfer business during the summer.

Charlton Athletic – 2023/24 Signings
Player Name Signed From Loan/Permanent
Harry Isted Luton Town Permanent
Lloyd Jones Cambridge United Permanent
Tennai Watson MK Dons Permanent
Tayo Edun Blackburn Rovers Permanent
Alfie May Cheltenham Town Permanent
Terry Taylor Burton Albion Permanent
Chem Campbell Wolves Loan
Slobodan Tedic Man City Loan
Panutche Camara Ipswich Town Loan
James Abankwah Udinese Loan
Louie Watson Luton Town Loan

And Appleton will face a tough test when he makes his Charlton debut in the dugout against Stevenage, who are top of the table heading into the weekend’s play.
What does David Prutton think will happen in Michael Appleton’s first game as Charlton manager?
Appleton confronts a difficult assignment against a Stevenage team that has adjusted well to League One since their return, and one commentator in particular, David Prutton, is not optimistic about the Addicks’ chances.

The Sky Sports EFL coverage’s chief presenter has said that he believes Appleton will lose his first match in charge of the club.

New Charlton head coach Appleton expecting his side to 'dominate the ball'  – South London News

“Stevenage at the very top of League One for the first time in their history – a cracking job by Steve Evans,” Prutton remarked on the EFL’s official Twitter account.

“He’s up against Michael Appleton and Charlton Athletic; it’s his first game in charge of Charlton Athletic; I think Stevenage will win 2-0.”

Against Stevenage, who will Michael Appleton have at his disposal?
Appleton has a plethora of choices for his debut match, which has been strengthened by late transfer window activity prior to his appointment with the loan arrivals of James Abankwah, Tennai Watson, Slobodan Tedic, and Louie Watson.

Conor McGrandles, who has only appeared once this season due to a knee injury, is the only definite absence.

Scott Fraser, Panutche Camara, and Chuks Aneke will all be evaluated ahead of Appleton’s squad selection, with the latter having yet to appear in 2023-24 due to long-standing fitness issues.

Aside from that, Appleton has a number of experienced and young options for his first starting 11, so it will be intriguing to watch how Charlton line up this Saturday at the Lamex Stadium.

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