Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 30 September 2014

Palace right to take time - Coppell

Steve Coppell has warned Palace not to take too much longer to appoint a new manager

Former Crystal Palace manager Steve Coppell believes the club are right to take their time appointing their next manager.

Palace have been searching for a new boss since parting company with Ian Holloway on October 23 and co-chairman Steve Parish has admitted the process has taken longer than expected.

Ex-Chelsea player Dan Petrescu is thought to be among the front-runners for the position with the Premier League's bottom side, along with Burnley's Sean Dyche and former boss Iain Dowie.

Coppell, who managed the club on four occasions, told Press Association Sport: "They need a manager who can cope with Premier League football and also have the energy, if they do go down, to drive the club back up again.

"Also, they need the quality and commitment to take on that job.

"There are a lot of boxes that need to be ticked and perhaps there isn't one person who can tick all those boxes.

"I think Steve is going through the process at the moment and perhaps thinking sideways about what the future holds and who would be the best man to take the club forward.

"It is a complex process but, given the international break, he has used the time well to interview and look at, and talk to, a lot of people.

"I've got every confidence he will come up with the right combination.

"But you don't want to leave it too long.

"The next three games people would look at as being critical. They are all important and winnable games."

Palace, who are three points adrift at the foot of the Premier League with just one win from 11 games, next face Hull, Norwich and West Ham.

Although the incoming boss will face a huge task to avoid relegation, Coppell is convinced the club is in a strong position off the field and can blossom in the future.

He said: "Keith Millen has done a good job in the last few games.

"He has intimated that he doesn't want the job but he has stabilised the team, against Arsenal and Everton, so the signs are there.

"Crystal Palace have four joint-owners and the goal has always been for the club to sustain itself. That should be the goal of any football club.

"If they survive this year then I think you always have a better chance in the second year.

"I know there is a huge desire at Crystal Palace to get this right and become very solid fixtures at this level."

Coppell, now director of football at League One Crawley, has himself been linked with a return to Selhurst Park in an upstairs role and he would not firmly rule out the possibility.

The 58-year-old said: "I have probably spent a quarter of my life working for Crystal Palace so I have got a huge soft spot for them.

"People always say never go back, but I have been back four times now. The best thing for me to say is never say never."

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