Palace turn to troubleshooter Hart after Warnock departs
'I like a challenge,' admits ex-Portsmouth coach after taking third job in 13 months
Wednesday 03 March 2010
Many a football manager has been likened to Red Adair, the legendary Texan oilfield firefighter, but Paul Hart may have staked an unarguable claim to the analogy after taking over at Crystal Palace yesterday, his third troubleshooting job in 13 months.
Last February Hart took over at Portsmouth, saved them from relegation, but was then embroiled in the club's takeover nightmare. After starting the season with seven defeats he was replaced by Avram Grant, but soon returned to management in Queen's Park Rangers' revolving dugout, becoming Flavio Briatore's seventh manager in little over three years. Five matches and 28 days later he quit. Yesterday he resurfaced again, taking over from QPR-bound Neil Warnock at Palace, who are presently in administration and out of the Championship's relegation zone only on goal difference. He has also managed Nottingham Forest during a period of financial difficulty.
Hart said: "It's quite obvious I like a challenge, and this is a big one. There's only one objective and that is to stay in this division. There are many similarities to Portsmouth; there are 14 games left, an experienced squad who can play, and I feel with a few tweaks we can get there." He will hope the similarities end there, though with no immediate sign of a buyer appearing at Selhurst Park the administrators are still seeking to cut costs wherever possible. This could lead to player departures on loan but Hart insisted: "No players will be leaving this club between now and the end of the season."
Former Palace players Dougie Freedman, yesterday released from his post as Southend's assistant manager, and John Pemberton, who was with Hart at Forest, will join as coaches. This follows the departure of Mick Jones and Keith Curle to go to QPR. It was because their exit was still being negotiated that Brendan Guilfoyle, Palace's administrator, said yesterday morning that reports claiming Warnock had joined QPR were "premature". It is understood Warnock will not join the club until today.
QPR have lost six of their last seven and face second-placed West Bromwich Albion at Loftus Road on Saturday. "I'm looking forward to it," Warnock said. "There are players with ability and I hope to channel that. The situation is the same as at Palace, a relegation battle. I know the players at Palace inside out and I know they are up for the fight, I want to see if the players at Rangers are."
Latest in Sport
Pedro to Manchester United: Transfer news live - Angel Di Maria to PSG, John Stones to Chelsea, £100m Gareth Bale bid
Watch Petr Cech, Francis Coquelin, Olivier Giroud and Mathieu Debuchy photobomb Arsenal fans
Premier League 2015/16 preview: Club-by-club guide to the new season
Manchester United and Adidas branded 'sexist' and 'discriminatory' as women's shirt features plunging neckline and different design
Can Arsenal win the Premier League? Is Raheem Sterling the answer to Man City's problems? Can anything stop Chelsea?
- 1 Porn block in India: hundreds of sexual websites banned, internet outraged
- 3 Gamers confess the worst things they've done in The Sims
- 4 Sex with robots will be ‘the norm’ in 50 years
- 5 Barack Obama turns 54: US President's best put downs to celebrate his birthday
Is Britain really full up? Are migrants taking our jobs? Leading academic answers the most common anti-immigration claims
Calais Migrant Crisis: Deputy Mayor of Calais labels Cameron's use of 'swarm' as 'racist' and 'ignorant'
Chris Leslie: Jeremy Corbyn's anti-austerity agenda will harm the poor, says Labour shadow Chancellor
Landlords renting properties to illegal immigrants to face up to five years in prison
While we fixate on Calais, the Home Office is quietly deporting dozens of migrants on 'ghost flights'
Labour leadership race: Jeremy Corbyn could be the next Prime Minister, says Ken Clarke