ALAN Pardew’s desire to start 2015 in the dugout was thwarted by protracted talks on his contract terms to take the reins as Crystal Palace manager.
The former Palace midfielder is still expected to complete his Selhurst Park homecoming, but not in time to take charge of today’s trip to Aston Villa.
Pardew had hoped to complete his Eagles switch from Newcastle and oversee the first Premier League clash of the year, but Keith Millen will remain in caretaker charge instead.
Millen predicted he would extend his third stint as Palace caretaker manager in Tuesday’s press conference, amid Pardew’s haste to complete his negotiations with chairman Steve Parish.
Pardew’s discussions with Parish continued on New Year’s Eve, but should be concluded swiftly after Thursday’s Villa Park battle.
Palace sacked Neil Warnock on December 27 after a run of just one win in 12 games.
Palace chief Parish had always envisaged Millen taking charge for the Villa trip even if the Pardew deal was complete, so the Selhurst Park bosses are not concerned by any hiatus.