Belfast Telegraph

Warnock: I owe Palace fans

Neil Warnock wants to steer Crystal Palace to safety this season because he feels he owes the club's supporters.

Warnock left Selhurst Park for QPR in March 2010 after Palace had been put into administration and the club was fraught with financial problems.

He returned to the Eagles a fortnight ago after Tony Pulis' shock departure and Warnock admits he wants to pay the fans back for the loyalty they have shown him.

"I do feel it's the right club for me and I do feel like I owe a little bit to the fans," Warnock said.

"The fans know how it was when we were in administration - it was very difficult to keep the boat rolling."

He added: "When I came back with QPR I thought I'd get a bit of stick.

"It was probably the most emotional day I've ever had in my life because the majority of the ground was behind me.

"It was a fabulous day for me so it's nice to get the opportunity now, when it's a bit hectic again, to try to steady the ship."

Pulis was named the Barclays Premier League manager of the season after leading Palace to 11th place in the table and the players were disappointed with his exit 48 hours before the start of the campaign.

Warnock, however, insists there has been no bitterness towards him and has backed his players to prove the doubters wrong.

"I think they had a great time with Tony," Warnock said.

"I'm sure certain people think we might plummet now we've got new people on board but I don't see that.

"I look at where these players finished in the league table and I think they warranted that - if anything I think we're even better now."

Club-record signing James McArthur could make his debut against Burnley on Saturday along with fellow new arrivals Kevin Doyle and Zeki Fryers.

Palace are open to sending some of their fringe players out on loan, including Paddy McCarthy and Peter Rammage, but Warnock says he is happy with the balance of his squad.

"We were looking for players that weren't going to disrupt anything already here because the dressing room is probably the most important thing," he said.

"I'm just looking forward to the game now and seeing how we play and it'll be nice with the crowd - Selhurst Park is a very special place.

"I'm sure Burnley will be looking at this game as a winnable game and we'll be the same."

Burnley's Sean Dyche is grateful for the admiration Warnock has shown him during his time as a manager, but insists there will be no "love-in" when two winless sides meet.

Warnock revealed last season that he voted for Dyche to be the LMA Manager of the Year - over the likes of Pulis and Brendan Rodgers - for his efforts in guiding the unfancied Clarets into the Premier League.

The 65-year-old had also called to offer support to Dyche during the lowest ebb of his fledging career when he was sacked by Watford in the summer of 2012.

But while there is clearly a mutual respect between the two men who will line up in opposite dugouts at Selhurst Park this weekend, the need for a first top-flight win of the season will be Dyche's sole focus.

"He's someone who has shown me an awful lot of respect," Dyche said of Warnock.

"I know him a little bit and he's always spoken well of myself as a young manager and I do thank him for that because his record speaks for itself at the varying clubs he's had.

"I thought he had chosen the time to say 'no, that's it, I'll go and enjoy the family' - but he's obviously got the bug again which happens in football. It's a great game, that's why we all love it, and he certainly loves it.

"Make no mistake, there will be no love-in when the whistle blows with Neil; he wants his team to perform and so do I."

Dyche has the chance to blood his three deadline day signings in this fixture after George Boyd, Nathaniel Chalobah and Michael Keane all arrived at Turf Moor to swell one of the thinnest squads in the entire division.

Providing adequate competition for places was always going to be a challenge for the Clarets following a season in which they rarely changed their line-up from week to week, but Dyche is happy that nobody can now be assured of a starting berth.

"We are happy with the business we've done," added Dyche.

"It rounds the group off in a nice way. We've got demand more or less all over the pitch, there's no safety net for players wondering about their shirt and we wanted that.

"It is hard for clubs like ourselves because we can't carry vast squads, and we probably wouldn't wish to, but when the window shuts, it is shut. There's no loans or anything like that so it means you do have to have a deeper squad."

Danny Ings, who joined Chalobah and Keane in the England Under-21 squad, is considered fine following a bout of illness so fellow striker Sam Vokes (knee) is expected to be Burnley's only absentee at Selhurst Park.

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