Crystal Palace’s search for a new manager to replace Ian Holloway may not be resolved until after next month’s international break following confirmation from caretaker Keith Millen that he expects to be in charge for Saturday’s trip to West Bromwich Albion.
The Palace co-chairman Steve Parish has been sounding out potential candidates for the post in the aftermath of Saturday’s battling 2-0 defeat to Arsenal – their sixth successive Premier League defeat. Former Stoke City manager Tony Pulis was the front-runner to take over from Holloway, who left by mutual consent last week, but the Welshman is believed to have reservations about working in London and joining a team now bottom of the table following Sunderland’s victory over Newcastle on Sunday.
Holloway’s former assistant Millen revealed yesterday that he will take charge again when Palace head to the Hawthorns on Saturday after holding discussions with Parish on Monday.
“I think he’s confident enough that he doesn’t have to rush into bringing someone in, so he’s more than happy for me to continue and prepare the team for West Brom on Saturday,” said Millen, who has previously managed Bristol City but will not apply for the full-time role at Palace.
“He’s happy in the sense that he doesn’t have to rush and panic into appointing someone. It’s nice that he’s got confidence in me to carry on with the job and it gives him more time to interview people. But I don’t know who he might be talking to.”
The odds on Wales manager Chris Coleman returning to the club where he spent four years as a player in the early 1990s shortened dramatically yesterday, with some betting firms now making him joint favourite with Pulis. Another former Palace player Alan Pardew could also be an option given his close links to Parish and because of rumours in Newcastle that his position there might be reviewed in the next few days.
Club captain Mile Jedinak also remains in the dark over the identity of Holloway’s replacement but he still believes the club can recover from their worst start to a top-flight season since 1981 and avoid immediate relegation from the Premier League following promotion for the first time in five attempts.
“I probably know as little as everyone else. It’s down to what the people above us want to try and do,” the Australian midfielder said. “It’s been an interesting week. But we will take a lot of positives from the Arsenal game. The result wasn’t there but the way we kept in the game until the very end and never gave up was something to be proud of. It’s hopefully a sign of good things to come.
“We’ve been written off all the time but it’s something we’ve come to deal with. The season is by far not over now we have added belief that we deserve to be in this league.”
Jedinak is expected to end speculation about his own future by signing a new contract to stay at Selhurst Park, although he refused to confirm stories that a deal has already been struck. His current deal expires at the end of the season.
“Only time will tell,” Jedinak said. “I do want to stay in the Premier League and I do want to stay at Crystal Palace. I’m enjoying my time here, so I haven’t really thought too much about what’s ahead. The results can be a bit of a dampener but I’m enjoying being part of a great club.”
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