Mikel handed three-match ban

Crystal Palace manager Ian Holloway has raided his old club

Blackpool to land goalkeeping coach George Wood.

Wood, who played for the Eagles between 1983 and 1987, replaces

Lee Turner after he followed former boss Dougie Freedman to

Bolton.

“Working with Ian Holloway and Keith Millen was one of the main

attractions of coming here and the other was the chance to win

promotion to the top flight with Crystal Palace,” Wood told the

club’s official website.

“I know of both Julian Speroni and Lewis Price, who are two very

good goalkeepers and look forward to working with both of them as

well as the academy keepers.”

The midfielder entered the referee’s dressing room after the 28

October clash at Stamford Bridge to confront match official Mark

Clattenburg.

Mikel had been informed by team-mates that Clattenburg had used

inappropriate language of a racist nature towards him during the

match, allegations which later proved to be false.

The Football Association acknowledged the circumstances that led

to his actions and said the levels of the ban and fine had been

imposed accordingly.

A statement on the FA website read: “The Regulatory Commission’s

independent chairman Christopher Quinlan QC emphasised that the

Independent Regulatory Commission accepted, as did The FA, that at

the time he threatened the referee the player genuinely believed

that the referee had racially abused him.

“But for that factor the suspension would have been

significantly longer.”

Mikel accepted the FA’s charge of “using threatening and/or

abusive and/or insulting words and/or behaviour in the official’s

changing room” and will now miss the Premier League games against

Sunderland and Southampton as well as the Capital One cup

quarter-final against Leeds.