Pardew no-show sparks Palace rumour

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Published: Monday 29th December 2014 by The News Editor

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Stand-in Keith Millen wants the Crystal Palace job on a full-time basis but it was a surprising name which headed the list of possible candidates on Monday morning.

Newcastle manager Alan Pardew has been installed as the heavy favourite by the bookmakers to replace Neil Warnock – a development which occurred during his side’s 3-2 win over Everton on Sunday evening.

Pardew, a former Palace player, did little to help calm the speculation by avoiding all of his normal post-match media duties.

There has been no comment from Pardew, Newcastle or Palace about the link, and when asked if there was a sinister reason as to why his boss had skipped his press conferences, Magpies assistant manager John Carver was none the wiser.

“He (Pardew) just said, ‘Will you go and do the press for me?’ That was it. I was actually eating a pie at the time,” Carver said.

“He is fine, he’s delighted. It’s a fantastic result for us.”

Pardew has five and a half years left of the eight-year deal owner Mike Ashley – who has stood by him through times of mass dissent – handed him and his staff in 2012.

That alone makes him an expensive candidate to replace the sacked Warnock, unlike Millen who is already on the books at Selhurst Park.

He returned to temporary charge, as he has done twice before, against QPR on Sunday, getting a 0-0 draw at Loftus Road and then stating his own case.

“I’m ready for it,” the 48-year-old said.

“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.”

Much like when Ian Holloway left last season and when Tony Pulis walked out on the eve of this campaign, chairman Steve Parish has admitted to having no one lined up for the job.

“I don’t know how long I’ll be in charge for,” Millen added.

“I have not been told I’ve got a chance and I haven’t spoken to the chairman about myself.”

Other names being linked with the job include the out-of-work Chris Hughton and Tim Sherwood, and another ex-Palace player in the form of Tony Popovic.

The Australian was a centre-back and spent five years with the Eagles between 2001 and 2006, while he also served under Dougie Freedman when the Scot was in charge of Palace.

He returned to Australia after that to coach Western Sydney Wanderers, who he has guided to the A-League title and, more impressively, the Asian Champions League title.

Published: Monday 29th December 2014 by The News Editor

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