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'Hectic' start for Speed as Davids joins Palace

Gary Speed admits his first few days as Sheffield United manager have been "hectic" as he prepares for the Blades' trip to Middlesbrough.

The former Leeds, Newcastle and Everton midfielder was appointed as the Yorkshire side's new boss on Tuesday following the departure of Kevin Blackwell in the wake of their humiliating 3-0 home defeat by Neil Warnock's QPR.

The 40-year-old inherits a team that could be bottom of the Championship when they kick off at the Riverside although he is aware of the task facing him given he was first-team coach under Blackwell.

Of his first few days in the job, Speed said: "They've been hectic, tiring but enjoyable. I've been on the phone for a lot of the time which is different but it has been really good.

"The best bit is obviously being out on the training ground with the players."

While Sam Ellis remains at Bramall Lane as assistant manager, the Blades yesterday appointed Jon Carver as first-team coach.

Carver worked under Bobby Robson at Newcastle when Speed was a player at St James's Park and he joins from Plymouth.

CRYSTAL PALACE came out of administration yesterday, and immediately signed the veteran Dutch midfielder Edgar Davids. Negotiations were delayed after Davids got lost en route to their Beckenham training ground but by mid-afternoon he agreed a pay-as-you-play deal.

Davids, who was at Selhurst Park today to watch the Championship match with Ipswich Town, said: "It's an exciting time for the club, and it is an exciting time for me.

"I just want to enjoy football and show what I can do.

"I'm sharp and fit.

"I've been training with Ajax the last few weeks.

"The Championship is one of the strongest leagues in the world, stronger than its equivalents in Italy and Spain. It's really, really physical, so it's going to be a big challenge for me and I'm not going to underestimate it."

Somewhat improbably Davids said his excitement was in part due to his teenage memories of Ian Wright and Mark Bright's Palace striking partnership.

That he still has a house in London from his time at Tottenham was also a factor in his signing.

"George (Burley, the Palace manager) said just to have fun, give it your all and see what it leads to.

"I can play left-back, midfield, left or right wing -- it's up to where the team needs me," he said.