Palace caretaker impressed with Newcastle boss’s credentials

Alan Pardew
Alan Pardew

KEITH Millen accepts he must bow to Alan Pardew’s “terrific track record” if the Newcastle boss is confirmed as Crystal Palace’s new manager.

Millen still expects to be in caretaker charge of Palace’s Premier League trip to Aston Villa on New Year’s Day, even if the Eagles confirm Pardew as their new manager tomorrow.

Former Bristol City manager Millen has called on chairman Steve Parish to tie up the formalities on Pardew’s Palace deal quickly, conceding “the manager has changed too many times”.

Pardew is in line to become Palace’s fourth manager in two years, with Millen currently in his third spell as caretaker boss.

“I’ve not worked with him, but I know him because he’s a local lad and so am I,” said Millen of former Palace midfielder Pardew.

“We’ve got mutual friends and I know his wife and family just by seeing them around the area.

“We’ve come across each other at different times with different clubs. I admire his record; he’s got a terrific track record as a manager.

“I’m sure the fans will remember him with fond memories from what he’s done here, so there’s a strong link there.

“The chairman knows what I can do as a manager, and I’m sure I’ll be sitting down with him again like I did before when Neil (Warnock) got the job.

“If Alan gets the job you can understand why he’s been given that, because of his track record and his experience.

“There’s obviously a relationship between Alan and the club. I’m not sure how many of the staff he knows, so it would be a new person coming in with new ideas. That always gives the place a lift anyway.

“You get an initial surge of energy. You’ve got that anticipation of someone coming in with fresh ideas.

“The background to the club is quite stable, but the manager has changed too many times, without a doubt.

“Behind the scenes it is quite stable though; we know what we’re good at as a group of players and staff, and I think we need to stick to those principles and we’ll be fine this year.”

Millen has confirmed he will seek a place in Pardew’s backroom staff should the Newcastle boss complete his Selhurst Park switch.

Palace chairman Parish sacked Warnock on December 27 after a run of one win in 12 matches, casting doubt on the club’s transfer window recruitment strategy.

The 48-year-old believes Palace can still be competitive in the January window however, despite the regime change.

“The January window will be very important to the club,” said Millen. “We do need (to bring) some fresh faces into the club to help the players we’ve got here.

“I think the timing of it all, if it can be done as quickly as possible, that would help us.

“It’s difficult because we’re trying to bring in players that are better than what we’ve got, and that doesn’t come cheap, certainly not in January.

“No one wants to lose their best players.

“I’ve been involved in the discussions with Neil when he was here and the scouting network, so there are players on the list that I’m sure the chairman’s going to through with the new manager.

“It’s an exciting time. I’m looking forward to it, and if we can bring in one or two players then we can be at full strength and be very good.”