Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Francis: At Last I Know Who's Boss

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Francis: At Last I Know Who's Boss

Article excerpt


TREVOR FRANCIS faces an emotional return to Birmingham tonight - but, whatever the outcome, he will only have to answer to one person.

Francis played nearly 300 games and spent five and a half years managing at St Andrew's before taking over at Crystal Palace 12 days ago.

The 47-year-old expects a good reception from the crowd after guiding Birmingham to the playoffs for the last two seasons and taking them to this year's League Cup final, although he admits it will be strange walking in to the away dressing room.

But whatever the result, knowing that he will only have to report to chairman Simon Jordan after the game rather than Birmingham's management structure will make him value his new employment.

At St Andrew's he had chairman David Gold, majority stakeholder David Sullivan and managing director Karren Brady heavily involved in the football business.

Francis said: "I am looking forward to just dealing with one person because I had three bosses at Birmingham and that can be very difficult at times.

"But it is going to be a little strange going back. I have never been there as a manager of another club and I spent a long time there as player and manager. It will be emotional."

Francis is proud of the squad he put together there and thinks he has inherited a weaker group of players at Palace. He also has injury worries over Clinton Morrison (groin), Tony Popovic (foot), David Hopkin (ankle) and Matt Clarke (finger).

But former England striker Francis believes building for success should be smooth with Jordan in charge.

He said: "I've had 12 years in management and I am looking forward to working with him.

"It is important to have a good relationship with the chairman and it is early, but everything seems to be okay.

There are boundaries, but if you are prepared to put your own money into a football club and a sport you are passionate about there is no reason why you shouldn't have input. …

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