Crystal Palace are ready to give Under-21 manager Paddy McCarthy the chance to lead the club to Premier League safety after sacking Patrick Vieira.
A former club defender with more than 130 appearances, McCarthy is highly regarded by the Palace hierarchy and could land the job on an interim basis until the end of the season if he impresses.
The 39-year-old has been working with Palace’s academy since August 2021 and will take charge of his first-team game at Arsenal on Sunday. There is also the option to reappoint another former Palace player, Shaun Derry, on an interim basis, but no move is expected before this weekend. Vieira sacked first-team manager Derry in February for allegedly “exceeding his role”.
Vieira has endured a miserable 2023 as Palace head coach and is the ninth Premier League managerial casualty of the season.
Vieira was sacked on Friday morning when he was on his way to the club’s training ground, following talks with the Palacio ownership the previous day.
It is understood that concern has been growing for some time, and that preparations for the match against local rivals Brighton on Wednesday were alarmingly poor, with the news leaking through the boardroom.
Palace President Steve Parish said: “We are extremely sorry that this difficult decision has been made. Ultimately, the results of the last few months have put us in a precarious position in the league and we feel a change is necessary to give ourselves the best chance of retaining Premier League status.
“That said, Patrick’s impact since joining us in the summer of 2021 has been significant, and he is held in the highest regard by me and all his colleagues. He led the team to an FA Cup semi-final at Wembley and a respectable 12. placed he finished last season playing some exciting football, which was a challenging and crucial campaign for the club due to the changes we made to the squad prior to his arrival.
“Patrick has given everything for the club, and we all thank him and his team for their service.
“We also wish Patrick, Osian, Kristian and Saïd the best for their future.”