Belfast Telegraph

Warnock: Palace wanted me last year

Neil Warnock has revealed Steve Parish sounded him out about returning to Crystal Palace last November before the Eagles appointed Tony Pulis.

Warnock is back for a second stint at Palace, after managing the Selhurst Park club between 2007 and 2010.

Palace owner Parish missed out on Malky Mackay and Tim Sherwood before settling on appointing Warnock to replace Pulis, who quit on the eve of the season.

Warnock said he was "not bothered" to be Palace's third choice.

"Before Tony came there was a possibility that he wasn't going to come and we talked then but then he changed his mind and they did fantastically," said Warnock.

"So Steve has always known that I am available. I didn't really have to tell him. It's just he just had to go through the candidates like he did.

"He said he never offered it to anybody beforehand and if I'm honest I'm not really bothered or what the betting was.

"I'm just glad that I'm here now and I'm not bothered how many were in front of me."

Warnock said he would only have come out of managerial retirement to help Palace stabilise their Premier League status, admitting he received wife Sharon's approval.

The 65-year-old has not worked in football since a stint at Leeds last year, retreating instead to his Cornwall farm.

Warnock's first act as Palace boss was to secure a season-long loan deal for Manchester United forward Wilfried Zaha, who returns to the Eagles after failing to make the Old Trafford grade.

Zaha left Palace for United in 2013 for £15million - but Warnock rejected suggestions his return is any kind of failure.

"I wasn't really looking to get back into management, but it's not often you get a chance to repay a club that's really helped you, so it's great to have that chance," said Warnock.

"I think there's still a lot more to come from Wilfried.

"When you're a young lad and you go to a big club like Manchester United, you can get lost because there are so many good players.

"People have criticised him for his attitude, but I've never seen that.

"I've always thought his attitude is spot on; if you're willing to spend the time with him he's always willing to learn.

"So I think we'll see a really different Wilfried and hopefully he can have a really good season."


From Belfast Telegraph