Former Blades chief is the right man for Parish

Neil Warnock
Neil Warnock
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Crystal Palace co-chairman Steve Parish believes former Sheffield United manager Neil Warnock will prove a “safe pair of hands” after the veteran boss began a second spell in charge at Selhurst Park.

Warnock signed a two-year deal at Palace on Wednesday to make a surprise return, four years after leaving when the Eagles slipped into administration.

He moved on to Queens Park Rangers, who sacked Warnock in January 2012 with the club 17th in the Premier League after he had guided them to the top flight for the first time in 15 years, and went on to work for Leeds United but achieved scant success at Elland Road.

Parish turned to Warnock after giving up on the idea of appointing Malky Mackay when the Scot admitted to sending a series of “completely unacceptable” text messages during his time in charge of Cardiff.

“Malky was someone who interviewed very well,” Parish said. “It was impossible to offer him the job. From a footballing point of view Malky was a very good candidate but unfortunately there were things that obviously meant we couldn’t bring him to the club.”

At the age of 65, Warnock is unlikely to prove the long-term solution that Palace were aiming for, but he could have a kingmaking role next summer when he and Parish consider the club’s long-term future.

In the short term, Parish and Warnock were preparing to discuss transfer targets ahead of Monday’s deadline for summer deals.

“There’s plenty more work to do,” Parish said.

“We’ve got the transfer window closing on Monday and I think he’d want to bring a few in, so hopefully we’ve got some more good news for supporters in the next few days.”

Palace have lost their opening two Premier League matches to Arsenal and West Ham, having been jolted by the surprise departure of manager Tony Pulis on the eve of the season. In Warnock, Parish is certain he has found an ideal successor to Pulis.

“I’ve known Neil since the club went into administration. Funnily enough the first time I met Neil properly was when we flew to Newcastle the night we went into admin,” Parish said.