Symons steps up after Palace sack Kember

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The Independent Football

Kit Symons is being asked to pull Crystal Palace out of their slump following the dismissal of Steve Kember as manager yesterday.

The experienced defender has been put in temporary charge by the Palace chairman, Simon Jordan, and may stay in the post for a month or more.

The unexpected development of promoting the Welsh international came after Kember and his assistant, Terry Bullivant, were dismissed after a run of form that has seen the club slip towards the relegation places. Symons is due to return to the playing side at the weekend, but will now also be expected to run the side as well as organise a leaky back four.

Jordan told Symons the news straight after the sacking and also let his leading players know that they would be expected to help out. However, the move has alarmed the dressing-room. The players feel they need a senior man in charge or, at least, alongside Symons.

Symons wants a senior partner, if only to organise the dug-out. And, as he will have to pick himself for a team whose defence has fallen apart embarrassingly at times, he must find a temporary No 2 soon.

Jordan said: "The players have ultimately been responsible for their performance but the management team are responsible for the players. Despite the recent downturn in results there is still an inherent belief within the club that the season is far from over, and with that in mind I felt it was imperative I acted decisively to get our season back on track in line with our early-season form."

* Third Division strugglers Southend United have parted company with their manager Steve Wignall. Wignall had been in charge for just over six months but the team has won only twice in 12 games