Belfast Telegraph

Warnock teases winter signings

Neil Warnock says Crystal Palace will not be "caught short" in the January transfer window as they look to bring in the players capable of helping keep the club in the Barclays Premier League.

The Eagles host Sunderland on Monday night just a point above the relegation places targeting a first victory in three games.

Warnock returned to Selhurst Park for the second time at the end of August after Tony Pulis had left on the eve of the new campaign.

The 65-year-old was able to help bring in the likes of promising defender Ezekiel Fryers from Tottenham and midfielder James McArthur, from Wigan for £7million, along with veteran forward Andrew Johnson on a free transfer ahead of the September 1 deadline.

When business opens again at the start of 2015, Warnock insists Palace will be ready to move quickly.

"You have to have two plans. You always have to look ahead as a manager and a club to what might happen, we have to do that. What you have not to do is get caught short again," said Warnock.

"We wanted one or two others in the last window, but just missed out.

"We are always looking at the targets we were looking for (in the summer). If there is more money available, you step up a grade in your targets."

Palace are reported to be in talks over a potential takeover by American businessman Josh Harris, the owner of National Hockey League club New Jersey Devils and National Basketball Association franchise Philadelphia 76ers.

Warnock believes whomever co-chairman Steve Parish and the CPFC 2010 consortium, who helped take the south-east London club out of administration, do eventually strike a deal with, those new owners must not let all of the positive work of recent years go to waste.

"It (Premier League football) is vital for the club as the club is getting a very, very good base and nucleus, that is getting very solid with the Academy and everything else," said Warnock, who was previously in charge of the Eagles from October 2007 to March 2010.

"The next step is doing what Stoke have done over the last 10 years - they have gone above the level they are supposed to do and have established themselves.

"Palace have to look at a club like that and there is no reason why they can't, especially in London.

"Players want to come to London. It might be a few quid different, but if you have got a choice then that might tip it, so we have to use that as well."

Palace were denied what would have been a third league win only by a stoppage-time penalty at West Brom as the Baggies snatched a 2-2 draw last weekend.

Sunderland are third from bottom, but still only four points off 10th place, such is the concertina nature of the lower half of the top flight.

Warnock is in no doubt what the target is for all of the sides outside the leading half-dozen, no matter how the opening quarter might have panned out so far.

"If you take the top four or five clubs, and push Everton into that, then everybody else in the country will think about 40 points," said Warnock.

"Big Sam (Allarydce) will be looking at that first and foremost - and West Ham fans are talking about Europe.

"People look for that magical 40 points, but you don't know. I think it will be lower than that, between 36 and 40."

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