Alex McLeish interested in Crystal Palace job

Alex McLeish: Eager for return. Picture: Getty
Alex McLeish: Eager for return. Picture: Getty
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Alex McLeish has declared his interest in becoming the new manager of Crystal Palace.

The odds on Wales manager Chris Coleman taking over at Selhurst Park have shortened dramatically in the last 24 hours following a flurry of bets but McLeish has thrown his hat into the ring for the position, which has been vacant since Ian Holloway’s departure last Wednesday.

Holloway guided Palace in the Barclays Premier League through the play-offs but admitted the spirit in the camp had been lost and left by mutual consent with the team bottom of the table.

McLeish has top-flight managerial experience with Birmingham and Aston Villa, although he took the Blues down to the second tier on two occasions.

The Scot has been eager to get back into football since leaving Nottingham Forest in February.

“There hasn’t been any contact yet but I am available as a free agent,” McLeish said. “Crystal Palace are in a position that’s precarious for them but there’s still a lot of points to play for.

“I’ve had those kind of challenges before and I’ve had some success and some failures, bu,t if you’ve got a fighting spirit and good players playing to their strengths, then why can’t Palace stay up?”

Coleman is yet to speak publicly on the idea of succeeding Holloway. However, the 43- year-old is yet to commit his future to Wales beyond November, when his contract expires, despite having being offered a new deal.

Martin O’Neill and Tony Pulis are reported to have held talks with Palace, while Neil Warnock has also been mentioned.

Palace have confirmed that caretaker manager Keith Millen will be in charge for Saturday’s game against West Brom.

Millen was in the dugout for last weekend’s 2-0 defeat to Arsenal – the Eagles’ eighth reverse of a season that has so far yielded just three points.