Championship play-off key as new name joins favourites for Palace job

Date published: Sunday 23rd May 2021 12:37 - Neil Foster

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Reports on Sunday have linked Swansea City boss Steve Cooper to the manager’s job at Crystal Palace after his agent was spotted at Selhurst Park.

The Eagles are in the hunt for a new manager after Roy Hodgson announced his intention to step down. The 73-year-old will oversee his final game for the south London outfit on Sunday as Palace face Liverpool at Anfield. Talk has already begun as to who might replace the former England chief, with Frank Lampard initially the favourite.

It was thought the former Chelsea boss was in line to take the job. But reports emerged earlier this week that he has withdrawn from the race.

Despite that setback, there will be no shortage of suitors to manage the capital outfit. Hodgson has helped establish Palace in the Premier League since arriving in September 2017.

They have now enjoyed seven successive seasons in the top flight. And, sitting 13th in the standings, will ply their trade in England’s top division once again in 2021-2022.

But getting the right man into the dugout will be crucial. Cooper is relatively inexperienced but has guided the Swans to the Championship play-off final where they will face Brentford on May 29.

Having coached the England Under-16 side, he then spent four years in charge of the Three Lions Under-17s. And it was a successful stint as the youngsters claimed the 2017 Under-17 World Cup.

He moved into the Liberty Stadium hotseat in June 2019 and has won 47 of his 104 games in charge.

Play-off final may determine Cooper future

The Welsh outfit are now just one game away from returning to the Premier League. Should they achieve that aim, then Cooper will be under pressure to remain at the club.

But, if the Bees prevail then a move to Palace might be on the cards. The Sun on Sunday state that his agent was seen in the Selhurst Park director’s box earlier this week.

He has already been linked with the post and the news will fuel rumours that he is the man Steve Parish wants. And the report goes on to suggest Palace would pay Swansea the compensation fee required to take Cooper to London.

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The 41-year-old is known to be a keen student of the game and likes his teams to play a possession-based game. He has been influenced by former Barcelona B coach Jose Segura after the pair worked together at Liverpool’s academy.

READ MORE: Pragmatic Hodgson issues Palace warning ahead of final Anfield challenge

 

 

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