Holloway departs and tells Palace to hire pricier boss

OUTGOING manager Ian Holloway has urged Crystal Palace chairman Steve Parish to appoint a new boss with greater Premier League experience in order to reignite the squad’s desire to avoid relegation.

Holloway parted company with Palace by mutual consent yesterday after less than a year in charge, though took the team to the top flight during his short tenure thanks to victory over Watford in the Championship play-off final in May.

A 4-1 home defeat to Fulham on Monday was the Eagles’ seventh in eight league matches, which left them 19th in the table and five points adrift of safety.

Former Stoke manager Tony Pulis has been installed as the bookmakers’ favourite for the vacancy at Selhurst Park and Holloway, who added 16 new players to his squad in the summer, believes an experienced candidate can still ensure Palace retain their top-flight status.

“Someone new coming in with a tad more experience at this level will have 30 games left and I understand how wonderful it is to enjoy those games and not have all this circus flowing around us,” said Holloway, who oversaw just four wins from his last 22 matches.

“I have to hold my hands up and say we didn’t keep the spirit that got us up. We changed too much too quickly.

“I didn’t value enough the spirit of the group that helped us get to the Premier League.

“Some of the new lads, their attitude and where it is, I’m finding it slightly annoying and that isn’t right.

“With me out the way, the new man will have a chance to start again. This club needs an impetus of energy. But I just feel tired. I’m worn out.

“The best chance Palace will have is if they use some of this money to get someone who they couldn’t have afforded when they chose me.”

Parish said he tried to talk Holloway out of leaving and was yet to compile a list of potential replacements. However, the suggestion of Pulis was immediately appealing.

“I think Tony has never got relegated has he? He’s out of work, got Premier League experience. Not a bad shout,” said Parish. “You’d love to have someone in place next week, but I haven’t got a list. I wanted Ian to wake up and say ‘sorry about the blip’ and stay.”

Assistant manager Keith Millen will take charge of the team for Saturday’s home match with Arsenal.