Palace caretaker prepares team for Villa with Pardew deal not yet done

CARETAKER ... Keith Millen.
CARETAKER ... Keith Millen.

CRYSTAL Palace caretaker manager Keith Millen believes Alan Pardew’s arrival at the club has not yet been finalised.

Pardew is expected to leave Newcastle United for Palace after a compensation figure was agreed between the two clubs.

However, Millen is preparing the Eagles players for their New Year’s Day game against Aston Villa, after admitting yesterday was a “strange day” for the club.

Millen said: “It’s not been signed and sealed and there are still negotiations to be had.

“Yesterday was a strange day with all the speculation, and I didn’t speak to the chairman until late in the evening.

“I spoke to the chairman at 11.30 last night and he said that compensation had been agreed and the club had permission to speak to Alan.

“I told the players that and I am preparing the team for Aston Villa.”

On the prospect of Pardew being appointed, Millen said: “I wasn’t surprised.

“Alan had played for this club, he has a lot of fond memories. It means a lot to him.

“Palace is a good job for someone. The chairman wants to build on the success we have had.”

Millen is prepared to take charge of the Palace team against Villa, having earlier expressed his desire to take on the manager’s role on a full-time basis.

He added: “I am planning on picking the team against Villa.

“I said to the chairman that I can do the job (permanently) but he has been busy talking to Newcastle.

“We’ve been through it a few times now and we deal with situation as it arises.

When asked if he expected to be kept on the coaching staff by Pardew, Millen said: “I don’t know – that will be Alan’s decision.

“I would be happy to work with the football club, depending on my role.”