FORMER Oxford United boss Michael Appleton has been appointed the new Lincoln City manager - just 24 hours before the teams meet.

But Appleton, who has signed a three-year deal, will not take charge of the Imps in tomorrow's Sky Bet League One clash.

The 43-year-old has left his role as coach of West Bromwich Albion's under-23 team to succeed Danny Cowley.

Appleton has not held a managerial role since leaving the U's in June 2017 to become assistant manager at Leicester.

He will officially take over at Sincil Bank on Monday, with caretakers Jamie McCombe and Andy Warrington remaining in charge of the team tomorrow.

"Michael has all the qualities we have been searching for to continue our progress as a club," said Lincoln chairman Clive Nates.

Former Albion player Appleton only took his job within the Championship club's academy in August.

The Baggies' sporting director Luke Dowling said: "We are obviously disappointed to be losing a coach of Michael's calibre so soon after his appointment.

"But he felt he could not refuse the opportunity to return to league management and we reluctantly accept that."