Holloway leaves Crystal Palace by mutual consent

The former Blackpool boss has left the London club five months after leading them to the Premier League, citing exhaustion as a mitigating factor in his farewell press conference
By Wayne Veysey | Chief Correspondent

Ian Holloway has left Crystal Palace by mutual consent after admitting he is not up to the task of keeping the stuggling London club in the Premier League.

Holloway, who took charge in November of last year, made the extraordinary admission in his farewell press conference on Wednesday that he was suffering from exhaustion and had lost the energy to motivate the players.

Chairman Steve Parish confirmed that Holloway's No2 Keith Millen will take temporary charge for this weekend's match against Arsenal.

In a revealing end to his Palace reign that was a departure from most managerial exits, Holloway said: "I had five days off over the summer and I'm absolutely exhausted. Maybe I don't have the energy to play Arsenal and not only stop them, but try and win. Everything is about the betterment of Crystal Palace and that's what we've been discussing.

"This club needs an impetus of energy. But I just feel tired to be honest. I'm worn out. I need a little bit of time to chill out with the family, but I will look out for Palace's scores. All I can do is be as honest as I can and wish everyone at the club well. I just need time to chill out."

Holloway has left Palace less than five months after leading them into the top flight. The club are second bottom in the table after picking up just three points from their opening eight league matches this season.

"I have to hold my hand up and say we didn't keep the spirit that got us up," Holloway added. "We changed too much too quickly. I owe it to the lads to admit that. We went through hell and back last season.

“Someone new coming in now with a tad more experience at this level will have 30 games left. I'm proud to have been involved with Palace and I wouldn't want to out-wear my welcome. With me out the way, the new man will have a chance to start again. If someone does want a chance in the Premier League with a good group, they should seriously believe in this project.”

Palace co-owner Steve Parish, sat alongside Holloway at the press conference, was at pains to stress that Holloway's departure has not been bitter.

Parish said: ""Ian's contract at Crystal Palace has come to an end by mutual consent. I'd like to put the record straight. We've never fallen out. We've worked together brilliantly.

"Ian felt that a new approach might help keep us in the division. I think we both realised we need someone with more experience at this level.We've got a whole group of people who are only really used to the Championship and dropped them into the Premier League.

"'It's difficult. We knew we had to go out and strengthen the group. We've got 14 new faces down at the training ground. It's a completely different challenge for Ian and a completely different challenge for us at the club.

'I was more than happy to get relegated and come back up with Ian. The word "sacked" has never been mentioned among the directors.  Ian's been very noble and he's come forward and said 'I can't do it'."

The candid admission from Holloway came during a series of rounds of talks between the pair in the wake of Palace's 4-1 defeat to Fulham on Monday.

"I've spent three days trying to get Ian in the frame of mind that he can do it against Arsenal," Parish explained. "Ian feels very strongly that we need to stay in this division. It's so difficult to get out of the Championship now.

"Ian's got such a positive outlook but maybe he needs to be a bit more selfish. He's immersed himself in all aspects of this club. After a defeat you've got to believe and give that energy to the players, but he felt that maybe something different would work.

"I believe Ian can go on and do very well in this division, certainly in the league below when he has got promotions with little money.

"We've got to find someone now who will take us on huge next part of the journey. We had teams outspending us by two to one but Ian got us up. He's an extraordinarily good manager.

"We've got every chance of collecting the points we need. There are teams that we can get results against. It's going to be difficult. We are under no illusions. But Fulham second half was the only time when we haven't put up a fight."

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