Wigan Athletic are 'the Newcastle of League One' - Lincoln boss
And he admits to being 'jealous of the spending power' Leam Richardson has under new owners Phoenix 2021 Limited.
Lincoln took advantage of Latics' well-documented troubles last term by enjoying 2-1 victories in both league fixtures.
But with the goalposts having been moved immeasurably in the last few months, Appleton has become the latest League One figure to point to Wigan's healthy financial state ahead of a fixture.
“It’s ridiculously tough, isn’t it," he said. "The money they’ve spent over the summer, the squad size they’ve got now...”
When asked if he was pleased for Latics having come through their off-field problems - which almost saw the club go under - Appleton told Lincolnshire Live: "Yes and no. A lot of struggles last year.
"I like Leam as a guy, but I’m a bit jealous, if I’m being honest, of the spending power they’ve got, compared to what we’re capable of.
“We know how difficult it’s going to be, they’ve almost become the Newcastle of League One overnight and can spend what they want.
“Fair play to them, they’re backing it up with performances and points, and that’s all you can ask for.”
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