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Last Updated: Monday, 3 November, 2003, 17:56 GMT
Palace sack Kember
Steve Kember
Crystal Palace have parted company with manager Steve Kember after their poor start to the season.

Palace were left languishing in 20th place following their 5-0 thrashing by Wigan at the weekend.

The humiliating defeat at Wigan proved the last straw for Eagles chairman Simon Jordan, who has appointed defender Kit Symons as caretaker manager.

Jordan said: "Kit Symons is taking over for a temporary period. He might want to put his name into the ring for the permanent position.

"It's important to keep the dressing-room together and maintain order at the club."

The Palace chief insisted he had to act quickly to keep the club's Premiership hopes alive.

"The players have ultimately been responsible for their performance but the management team are responsible for the players," said Jordan.

"Despite the recent downturn in results there is still an inherent belief within the club that the season is far from over, and with that in mind I felt it was imperative I acted decisively to get our season back on track in line with our early-season form.

"My ambition to put the club back in the Premiership remains undiminished and I will be looking to appoint a manager capable of achieving that goal."

Palace, who entertain Preston on Saturday, are still in the Carling Cup but have lost their last three League matches and have just two points from the last 15.

Kember took over after the departure of former manager Trevor Francis in March 2003.

"This performance was totally unacceptable and we got what we deserved - nothing," said Kember following the drubbing to Wigan on Saturday.

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