Holloway: Crystal Palace get their manager

The BBC is reporting this morning that Ian Holloway has accepted Crystal Palace’s offer of the job of manager.

Ian Holloway does the official club pictures at Selhurst Park this lunchtime with club co-owner Stephen Browett

The 49-year-old leaves Blackpool after three years in chargewhich included a term in the Premiership and reaching the Championship play-off final last season. He is reported to have signed a four-and-a-half-year deal at Selhurst Park.

Pictured on the pitch and with fans around the ground at lunchtime, Holloway is expected to be introduced to the Eagles fans ahead of today’s game with Blackburn.

Holloway told the official Palace website: “This is a fantastic opportunity for myself and a fresh start… I just see this as too good an opportunity to turn down.

“I got great energy when I met the club’s owners and just can’t wait to get going.”

Speaking to the BBC, Holloway said, “It is sad to leave Blackpool as my time there was the best trip I have been on and leave very proud of what was achieved

“I’m bringing in Keith Millen as my assistant who is a Croydon boy. He’s as excited as I am about the opportunity.”

Millen is a former Palace youth team player who spent most of his senior career as a Brentford player. He has been head of coaching development at Blackpool.

Millen was appointed as Steve Coppell’s successor when he resigned at Bristol City. It was Coppell’s recommendation that Palace should hire Holloway, a move which is reported to cost the club £400,000 in compensation to Blackpool.

Holloway needs to build a new backroom staff since Dougie Freedman, Palace’s former manager, has taken his assistant, Lennie Lawrence, with him to Bolton.

Steve Parish, the Palace co-chairman, was delighted at recruiting Holloway: “He’s a manager I have long admired and one I believe will bring something fresh and new to our club.

“I am sure the supporters will be as excited about this appointment as I am and will get fully behind him.”

Speaking on BBC Radio Lancashire this morning, Blackpool chairman Karl Oyston said, “I wish Ian all the best in his new role. He has done a fantastic job for us during his time here and will be remembered as the most successful manager in the club’s history.

“Things happen in football very quickly, as in this case, so I am not shocked by his decision. It suits him to be nearer his family and I am sure he will enjoy the new challenge he has set himself.

“There is no animosity, he goes with my best wishes having served our club so well and the success he brought to the club during his three years here.”

Expectations of a place in the play-offs at least will be higher at Selhurst Park than for many years. Palace have not been in the top tier since 2004-05, but have enjoyed a run of seven wins out of eight to put them fourth in the Championship table ahead of today’s match.

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