Next Crystal Palace manager: The contenders

Mick McCarthy
© PA Photos
Sports Mole brings you the five men that are reportedly in contention to replace Dougie Freedman at Crystal Palace.

Championship side Crystal Palace yesterday confirmed that manager Dougie Freedman had decided to leave the club and link up with league rivals Bolton Wanderers.

While there has been no official confirmation from Bolton, reports today have claimed that Palace have already begun their search for a new boss.

With that in mind, Sports Mole has compiled a list of five men who are considered to be the early leading contenders to fill the void left by Freedman at Selhurst Park.

Mick McCarthy

There are very few jobs that McCarthy has not been linked with in recent months. Having left Wolverhampton Wanderers in February of this year, the 53-year-old is now said to be eager to return to management. He has recently been touted to take the jobs at Blackburn Rovers, Burnley and Bolton. Having been beaten to the Bolton role by Freedman, the former Republic of Ireland head coach could well be keen to take over from the Scot.

Odds: 6/4

Steve Coppell

The departing Freedman is considered by many to be a Palace legend. However, 57-year-old Coppell is looked upon even more favourably by the Palace faithful. He has had four previous spells in charge of the club and during one of those he guided them to the 1990 FA Cup final, where they lost to Manchester United 1-0 in a replay. Coppell has forged himself a reputation as a manager who gives youngsters a chance and with players like Wilfried Zaha at the club, a fifth stint could appeal to the current Crawley Town director of football.

Odds: 15/8

Lennie Lawrence

As so often when a manager departs a club, his assistant is linked with filling his shoes. Lawrence is slightly different to most other assistants though, as he possesses a vast managerial experience that stretches all the way back to 1978 when he took caretaker charge of Plymouth Argyle. He's currently looking after first-team matters while the search for a new manager begins.

Odds: 8/1

Gareth Southgate

Southgate, 42, has been out of the management game since he left Middlesbrough in 2009. Since then he has become the Football Association's head of elite development. Despite only being in the role a matter of months, speculation has suggested that he would consider a return to club football. The former England international would also be a favourite with the supporters, having made over 150 appearances for Palace during a seven-year stint up until 1995.

Odds: 12/1

Mark Bright

Like Southgate, 50-year-old Bright is a former Palace player who represented the club with such distinction. He was part of the team that reached the FA Cup final under Coppell's guidance. Having not held a job in management before, appointing the BBC Sport pundit is likely to be seen as a gamble. However, there is potential for the ex-striker to perhaps form a partnership with the experienced Coppell.

Odds: 16/1

Related Video
Europa League
5pm
Dynamo Moscow
vs
PSV
5pm
Krasnodar
vs
Everton
6pm
Feyenoord
vs
Standard Liege
6pm
Rijeka
vs
Sevilla
6pm
Wolfsburg
vs
Lille
6pm
Sparta Prague
vs
Young Boys
6pm
Slovan Bratislava
vs
Napoli
6pm
Dynamo Kiev
vs
Bucuresti
6pm
AaB
vs
Rio Ave
6pm
Guingamp
vs
PAOK
6pm
Dinamo Minsk
vs
Fiorentina
6pm
Lokeren
vs
Metalist Kharkiv
6pm
Trabzonspor
vs
Legia
8.05pm
FC Zurich
vs
Borussia M'bach
8.05pm
Villarreal
vs
Apollon Limassol
8.05pm
HJK
vs
Club Brugge
8.05pm
Torino
vs
Copenhagen
8.05pm
Asteras Tripolis
vs
Partizan
8.05pm
Spurs
vs
Besiktas
8.05pm
Astra
vs
Salzburg
8.05pm
Celtic
vs
Dinamo Zagreb
8.05pm
Estoril
vs
Panathinaikos
8.05pm
Inter Milan
vs
Qarabag FK
8.05pm
St Etienne
vs
Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk
Tables