Crystal Palace dismiss manager Neil Warnock

Becomes the first manager to be dismissed in the Premier League this season.
Friday’s home defeat to Southampton on Boxing Day was the final straw for Crystal Palace manager Neil Warnock, who was sacked on Saturday afternoon. Kirsty Wigglesworth / AP Photo
Friday’s home defeat to Southampton on Boxing Day was the final straw for Crystal Palace manager Neil Warnock, who was sacked on Saturday afternoon. Kirsty Wigglesworth / AP Photo

Neil Warnock has become the Premier League’s first managerial casualty of the season, with Crystal Palace dismissing him on Saturday.

The 66-year-old Englishman only started a second spell at Selhurst Park on August 27, but has failed to carry on the work done by predecessor Tony Pulis.

Pulis walked out ahead of the season after pulling off a great escape during the last campaign, but Warnock - despite a memorable win over Liverpool - has not got things going and leaves Palace with the club in the relegation zone on 15 points.

“Crystal Palace Football Club can today confirm that Neil Warnock has been relieved of his duties and is no longer first-team manager,” said a statement on the club’s official website.

“The club would like to put on record its thanks to Neil for all his hard work and energy over the past four months.

“Keith Millen will lead the team against Queens Park Rangers tomorrow as caretaker manager.”

Warnock appeared to be showing the strain after Friday’s 3-1 loss to Southampton, bemoaning his side’s lack of luck after listening to the club’s fans singing “you don’t know what you’re doing”.

“I thought they had a lot of luck last year - I don’t see us having much luck this year,’’ he said.

Reports emanated on social media the following morning that Warnock had been sacked and the club belatedly confirmed his exit in a statement at lunchtime.

“Crystal Palace Football Club can today confirm that Neil Warnock has been relieved of his duties and is no longer first-team manager,” the statement on the website read.

“The club would like to put on record its thanks to Neil for all his hard work and energy over the past four months.

“Keith Millen will lead the team against Queens Park Rangers tomorrow as caretaker manager.”

Palace go into the match against QPR on Sunday on a miserable run of form, with the Boxing Day defeat to Southampton meaning they have won just one of their last 12 top-flight matches.

The latest loss saw Warnock incense home fans by bringing defender Martin Kelly on for winger Yannick Bolasie when they were three goals down, while there were also boos from the Selhurst Park faithful at the final whistle.

“When you lose a game you’re responsible, I’ve no complaints about that,” he said of the fans’ reaction.

“Bolasie’s wife is having a baby and he was tired before the game today.

“What with us playing at QPR in not much more than 24 hours, I thought we would just save his legs a bit.

“You know when you take Bolasie off when you’re losing 3-0 you’re going to get stick, but you just have to think about QPR really.

“I have no complaints, at 3-0 down, you’d be very surprised not to get a bit of stick.

“I thought they [the players] were very good today in the circumstances, they were almost as shell-shocked as some of the fans.”

The Palace board will be keen to make a swift appointment given the transfer window is days away from reopening.

Tim Sherwood and Tony Popovic are already standout candidates to replace Warnock, with the latter having last month led Western Sydney Wanderers to the Asian Champions League.

The former Australia international has strong ties with the Eagles, having played for the club for five seasons before returning in 2011 as part of Dougie Freedman’s backroom set-up.

Sherwood is again in the running for a job he ruled himself out of in August, with the ex-Tottenham head coach saying he would have wanted to succeed Pulis had he been offered the position after his interview.

Malky Mackay, now in charge at Wigan, had been the favourite to succeed Pulis, only for allegations of misconduct to see Palace end their interest.

English Premier League results & fixtures

Friday

Chelsea 2 West Ham 0

Burnley 0 Liverpool 1

Crystal Palace 1 Southampton 3

West Brom 1 Manchester City 3

Manchester United 3 Newcastle 1

Everton 0 Stoke City 1

Leicester City 1 Tottenham 2

Sunderland 1 Hull City 3

Swansea City 1 Aston Villa 0

Arsenal 2 QPR 1

Sunday (in UAE time)

Tottenham v Man Utd, 4pm

Southampton v Chelsea, 6.05pm

Aston Villa v Sunderland, 7pm

Hull City v Leicester City, 7pm

Man City v Burnley, 7pm

QPR v Crystal Palace, 7pm

Stoke City v West Brom, 7pm

West Ham v Arsenal, 7pm

Newcastle v Everton, 8.15pm

Published: December 27, 2014 04:00 AM

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