Sam Allardyce couldn’t resist chance to work at Crystal Palace

Sam Allardyce was tempted back into management so soon after his shock exit from England because he was excited to work with the Crystal Palace squad.
Sam Allardyce couldn’t resist chance to work at Crystal Palace

Allardyce was, as widely anticipated, appointed Palace boss on a two-and-a-half-year deal last night, taking him back into club management less than three months after his departure from the national team.

In September, the 62-year-old stood down from what he said was his dream job after just 67 days and one match in charge, having made ill-advised comments while in conversation with undercover reporters in a newspaper sting.

Allardyce said: “I hope I can bring some joy, particularly over Christmas and new year, and over the long term between now and the end of the season.

“I like the look of the squad and that’s the probably the reason that I’m here, because I feel that the club can go forward from here and hopefully I can help it go forward.”

While Allardyce is excited by the players he will work with, he inherits a side low on confidence after just one win in 11 Premier League matches, a run that resulted in Pardew’s dismissal on Thursday.

Allardyce admitted tightening up a defence that has conceded 32 goals in 17 matches this season is top of his priorities.

”[The target] first and foremost is just to say ‘let’s stop losing’. That’s the object, to try and find the basis of consistency that brings us some results.”

The former West Ham and Sunderland boss would like to strengthen his squad, but his immediate concern is to stop any players from leaving.

He said: “We’ve got to try and make sure we protect the players we’ve got and the rumours that may float around that people might be interested in our players is also of great concern when you’re a manager, because that is very disruptive and can put a player off his game. Particularly in the position we’re in we don’t want any of that.”

Mario Pasalic scored the winning penalty as AC Milan lifted the Supercoppa Italiana for the first time in five years with a 4-3 shootout win over holders Juventus in Doha.

The Chelsea loanee held his nerve to find the top left corner with Milan’s fifth spot-kick after their 17-year-old keeper Gianluigi Donnarumma had denied Paulo Dybala.

Giorgio Chiellini volleyed Juve into an 18th-minute lead at the Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium but Giacomo Bonaventura headed Milan level seven minutes before the break to leave the game level at 1-1 after extra-time.

The result means Milan have now equalled the Turin club’s record of seven super cup wins.

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