Eagles could be set to land Pardew

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Published: Monday 29th December 2014 by The News Editor

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Alan Pardew could be on the verge of bringing his tumultuous four-year-old reign on Tyneside to an end and agreeing terms to take over as the new manager of Crystal Palace.

Several leading bookmakers suspended betting on the next Premier League manager to leave his post on Monday after reports that Palace have agreed compensation terms with Newcastle.

Neither club has been willing to confirm suggestions that the Eagles will pay £2million to land Pardew, who still has five years left on his St James’ Park contract.

Pardew made 128 appearances for Palace between 1988 and 1991 and scored the winning goal in his side’s famous FA Cup final win over Liverpool in 1990.

Despite a mounting campaign for his dismissal from a large section of Newcastle supporters, Pardew retained the faith of Magpies owner Mike Ashley and guided them to ninth place in the Premier League table.

But with relations with the fans still strained and little prospect of major investment in the January transfer window, it is easy to see why Pardew may have been tempted by the vacancy at Selhurst Park.

And the 53-year-old stoked the speculation over his future by failing to attend the post-match press conference following his side’s 3-2 win over Everton on Sunday.

Pardew is scheduled to host his regular pre-match press conference ahead of the visit of Burnley at Newcastle’s training ground on Tuesday afternoon – at around the same time Palace preview their next match against Aston Villa.

However, Palace chairman Steve Parish may act swiftly following the departure of Neil Warnock, with Keith Millen taking charge in a caretaker capacity for the second time.

Millen made clear his desire to be considered for the position after Sunday’s goalless draw at QPR when he said: “I’m ready for it.

“I think the players respect me. I’ve done it enough times, I’ve managed before and I enjoy working for the club.

“The chairman may feel he needs more experience or wants to see what names are available because it’s a vital time now.”

Reports in Australia claimed Palace had also approached former Palace defender Tony Popovic – currently in charge of Western Sydney Wanderers – about the job, while Tim Sherwood, Chris Hughton and former boss Tony Pulis have also been mentioned in connection with the vacancy.

The draw at QPR saw Palace drop into the relegation zone ahead of the trip to Villa on New Year’s Day.

Defender Joel Ward has insisted the players cannot afford to let the managerial issue become a distraction from their fight for survival.

“We’ve been in this situation before on various different occasions and we’ve just got to get on with the job at hand, focus on the games and not let it affect us,” Ward said.

“The main focus is to pick up points and to stay in the Premier League. That is all we are going to focus on.

“I’m not going to comment on anything else about the decision that has been made.

“The expectations after last season are high. We set our bar high and we want to get back to that.”

Mile Jedinak has been one of his side’s star performers so far this term but the Eagles captain will miss the Villa match as he departs to play for Australia in the Asia Cup.

Jedinak believes his team-mates will give their all while Millen is in charge and admits it would be best for all concerned if a new manager is appointed as soon as possible.

“Of course we would like to see someone appointed quickly but we’ve been in this position a few times before and we know that decisions can’t always be made straight away,” Jedinak said.

“Whatever that decision is you need to respect it and until then you keep working hard for each other, for Keith, for everyone else involved so that when someone else does come in it’s business as usual and we can keep that ball rolling.”

Published: Monday 29th December 2014 by The News Editor

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