Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 21 August 2014

Thomas interested in Palace post

Geoff Thomas won the Full Members Cup while at Crystal Palace

Fans' favourite Geoff Thomas has thrown his hat into the ring as Crystal Palace's hunt for a manager continues.

The former England international made 249 appearances for the Eagles and captained the side in the 1990 FA Cup final.

Thomas went on to play for a number of other clubs after leaving Selhurst Park in 1993, including a spell as player-coach under Dave Bassett at Barnsley.

The diagnosis of chronic myeloid leukaemia shortly after retiring saw his focus switch away from the game, although he now admits he would love to succeed Ian Holloway at Palace.

"I was seriously interested in staying in football until I was diagnosed with the illness and my priorities completely changed," Thomas told the Croydon Advertiser.

"I would love the opportunity to get back into football but it's risky. There are a few people who have said they'd take them with me to Palace and I would jump at that but they haven't ended up getting the job.

"There are a few jobs that I would take no questions asked and if Palace came knocking that would be it, my bags would be packed immediately.

"It seems like all my team-mates have had a go, so I think I could do it. Steve Parish has got my number."

The hunt for a new manager is now four weeks old after Palace co-chairman Parish saw hopes of having a new man at the helm appointed by the weekend scotched.

Former Real Madrid assistant coach Aitor Karanka was heavily linked with the post but joined Middlesbrough last week, while former Palace defender Chris Coleman committed his future to Wales.

Dynamo Moscow boss Dan Petrescu has reportedly rejected the opportunity to manage Palace, while current bookmakers' favourite Tony Pulis would not speak about the subject with Press Association Sport on Tuesday.

Iain Dowie, Sean Dyche and Andrea Stramaccioni have also been mentioned for a job for which Thomas highlighted the importance of the need for a long-term view.

"I think if you appoint a stop-gap option until the summer now you miss one of the two windows of opportunity where you've got a chance to do something with the side," he said.

"I know (caretaker manager) Keith Millen personally and he really is a top guy, but I think if he was given the job then he would be worried about damaging his reputation. I think that's what a lot of people are worried about.

"I know a guy who if the job came up last year he would have been in the frame, but now a year later he's not flavour of the month. Football moves on very quickly."

Palace may be struggling to appoint a manager, but there was some good news on the player front on Tuesday with Jonny Williams' return to action.

The Wales international stepped up his recovery from an ankle injury sustained in September by playing the first half of Palace Under-21s' 4-3 win against QPR.

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