‘I could have gone skiing’: Glasner not worried by Palace record of failures

<span>Oliver Glasner (right) had been in discussions with <a class="link " href="" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Crystal Palace;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Crystal Palace</a> chairman Steve Parish for several months.</span><span>Photograph: Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images</span>

Oliver Glasner has insisted he is not concerned by Crystal Palace’s poor track record of hiring managers from overseas but admitted that taking over from Roy Hodgson during the middle of the season had come as a surprise.

Glasner’s arrival was confirmed this week after Hodgson stepped aside, with the Austrian becoming the fourth foreign manager in Palace’s history after Attilio Lombardo, Frank de Boer and Patrick Vieira. Vieira lasted almost two years before being replaced by Hodgson last March, but Palace were relegated during Lombardo’s spell as caretaker player-manager in 1998 and De Boer was sacked and replaced by Hodgson in 2017 after losing his first four league games.

Related: Did it really have to end like this at Crystal Palace for Roy Hodgson? | Ed Aarons

That led José Mourinho to describe the Dutchman as “the worst manager in the history of the Premier League”, although following in De Boer’s footsteps is definitely not in Glasner’s thoughts. Having delivered his prepared line that he is “no ­magician, I am not David Copperfield” as he attempts to steer Palace away from relegation danger, the 49-year-old was clearly not interested in looking back.

“I don’t care about it because my influence is what we can do with the players and the staff,” said Glasner, who led Eintracht Frankfurt to Europa League success in 2022. “If I’m afraid to be sacked in four games I wouldn’t have come to London. I could have stayed in Austria and gone skiing.

“I am convinced we can win many games this year in the Premier League. We have the organisation on one side and the players on the other side where we can be successful together. If I didn’t have this conviction I wouldn’t be here. In many talks with the chairman and the sporting director and in many games I watched, I got this conviction. I was looking for a project that we can improve. I don’t think Crystal Palace is at the end [of its project].”

Glasner, who jokingly revealed that he had been presented with a toothbrush to keep at Palace’s training ground after not having time to visit a supermarket this week, certainly has plenty of work to do with an injury-ravaged squad that will be without key players Eberechi Eze, Michael Olise and the captain Marc Guéhi for Saturday’s meeting with Burnley at Selhurst Park in his first match.

Glasner had been in talks for ­several months with Palace’s chairman, Steve Parish, about replacing Hodgson at the end of the season as pressure grew on the 76-year-old but said the “decision came really fast” after Hodgson was taken to hospital when he fell ill during a training session last week.

“There was no contract signed for the summer but we were talking about the project for Crystal Palace, my plan and how can it fit together,” Glasner said. “We thought we had this time because the owner’s plan for the club was to end the season with Roy. It was fast and we sat together during the weekend and decided: ‘Come on, let’s do it.’ Sometimes in football, and especially in life, things happen that you don’t plan and it wasn’t planned like this. But it’s a good opportunity now we have many games left and with the international team break ahead of us.”

Glasner added: “I’m really happy Roy is doing well and he’s out of hospital and is healthy again because that is the most important thing. I hope that I can talk to him because I can also learn a lot from his experience.”

Glasner – whose trademark gilet has been on special offer in the Palace club shop this week – worked as an assistant to Ralf Rangnick at Red Bull Salzburg but would not divulge the details of a conversation he had this week with the former Manchester United interim manager about his plans for Palace. But the former defender, who was forced to retire from playing on medical advice after a brain haemorrhage when he sustained a head injury during a match in 2011, was more open about how that experience has influenced his philosophy on life and football.

“My wife was told by the doctor it’s 50-50 to survive or not,” he said. “When somebody tells that to you, afterwards of course you think. This is why I spoke about Roy – it really comes from the bottom of the heart. Sometimes we forget that health is our biggest value. When you are healthy, you don’t think about it. I had this and survived so I always said to myself, never forget this.

“But to be honest, when you are in this wheel, Bundesliga and now Premier League, sometimes I also forget it. You are in a rush, with this and that, then I try to relax sometimes in the evening. It’s very important but it’s just football, maybe the best thing in the world but not the most important thing because this is health.”