Crystal Palace’s search for a new manager has ended, after they confirmed Neil Warnock will return for a second spell in the Selhurst Park hotseat.
The 65-year-old was first named as Eagles boss back in October 2007, and insisted this would be his last managerial appointment. His arrival marked a marked improvement for the Londoners, as he led them from relegation trouble to the playoffs in the Championship, where they eventually fell against Bristol City in the semi-final.
He remained at the helm for the 2008-09 campaign, finishing in 16th spot, but by this time the club’s finances had begun to take a turn for the worse. In January 2010 Palace were placed in administration and given a 10-point deduction, and after telling the administrators that he didn’t have the administrators that he no longer had the heart to remain in the position, Warnock was let go and later joined Queens Park Rangers.
Since then, the Eagles have been through five permanent managers, including Ian Holloway who led them back into the Premier League last season. He quit early on in the campaign and was replaced by Tony Pulis in November, who became a hugely popular figure as he ensured their top-flight safety with some comfort. However, the former Stoke City manager quit earlier this month, due to the club’s failure to land a number of his targets.
A number of names have since been linked with the job, including Malky Mackay, Tim Sherwood and Steve Clarke, formerly of Cardiff City, Tottenham Hotspur and West Bromwich Albion respectively, but it is Warnock who has been handed the role with a contract which, all being well of course, will run until the end of next season.
The worry for Palace fans will be Warnock’s previous record of managing in the top-flight, having been relegated with Notts County and Sheffield United. Despite leading QPR to the Premier League he was sacked in January 2012 with the Hoops heading towards the drop zone. His last position was with Leeds United, where his tenure lasted fourteen months before he left in April 2013 with the Elland Road club 17th in the Championship.
He will inherit a squad which has been boosted by summer signings Fraizer Campbell, Brede Hangeland and Martin Kelly, and it is understood he has been given the green-light to sign up to four more players before the 11pm Monday deadline. As for his coaching staff, it has been reported that Keith Millen and Ben Garner will remain on the team, but Gerry Francis, who was working part-time with Pulis, is expected to leave.
Palace fans, are you happy with the appointment of Warnock? Where do you expect to finish this season? Let us know your opinion by joining in the discussion below!