Palace chief denies Hughton rumours
CRYSTAL PALACE co-chairman Steve Parish last night denied that Chris Hughton was in pole position to become the Championship club's new manager, and instead confirmed his intention to speak to Steve Coppell about an emotional return.
The struggling Londoners are on the hunt for a new manager after George Burley was shown the door, and were strongly linked with Hughton after he attended their weekend loss to Millwall.
The former Ireland defender was expected to be present for yesterday's crucial win over Preston, with one report suggesting that car parking spaces had been booked for both Coppell and Hughton -- but only the former showed up.
Parish said he would be speaking to Coppell, but insisted there was no contact with Hughton, adding that the former Newcastle manager hadn't applied for the vacancy.
"Chris Hughton I've never met in my life," said Parish. "He came to the Millwall game presumably because he wanted to take in a game in London and that set everybody talking.
"I've not spoken to Chris, we've not had a job application from Chris. He's a very good young manager, obviously somebody who, if he applied for the job, I'm sure we would consider out of courtesy, but I've not spoken to him."
Coppell, who resigned suddenly from Bristol City in August, has managed Palace on four occasions and brought them to the 1990 FA Cup final.
"Steve's been to four or five games this season," said Parish. "I don't know what Steve's situation is. I don't know if he wants to manage. He cares for the club deeply, he's a legend here -- I'd be mad not to have a chat to him."