New Palace boss wants to keep midfield ace

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George Burley's first job as Crystal Palace's new manager will be to keep star midfielder Darren Ambrose out of the clutches of Neil Warnock.

Ambrose was on the verge of following former Eagles boss Warnock to QPR earlier this month when the CPFC 2010 consortium stepped in to save the cash-strapped south Londoners from going bust.

Warnock remains hopeful of landing the 26-year-old, who hit 20 goals last season as Palace narrowly avoided relegation despite being deducted 10 points.

But Burley, who managed Ambrose as a youngster at Ipswich, is determined to persuade the player to stay. Burley said: "He scored 20 goals last season and he is a player I want to keep. He's a top player and we will be trying to get him to extend his contract."

He added: "I brought Darren through as a kid and gave him debut at 17 at Ipswich.

"I think maybe he was too young when he left Ipswich for Newcastle."

Burley has returned to club management for the first time since he was sacked by Scotland last November, with ex-Palace striker Dougie Freedman named his assistant.

Steve Parish, the co-chairman of CPFC 2010, is ready to back the 54-year-old with the cash to keep the Selhurst Park squad together and bring in new faces.

But Parish is determined not to repeat the mistakes which ultimately pushed the club to the brink of liquidation this summer.

"There is money available, George doesn't have to sell anybody and any players he wants to sell we will reinvest," said Parish.

"But we are not prepared to risk the future of the club on one player. There have been too many big-money signings at this club that haven't worked and that's led to the issues the club has got itself into."

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Darren Ambrose
Queens Park Rangers
Crystal Palace

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