LENNIE Lawrence kept his cards close to his chest last night as it was suggested he was on the verge of linking up with Dougie Freedman at Wanderers.

Even though the manager situation has yet to be ratified by the Whites, the question of the backroom staff has already been raised by concerned fans.

The success of Jimmy Phillips, Sammy Lee and Julian Darby in the interim since Owen Coyle’s sacking has led many calls for the trio to be kept on in the new set-up.

But sources in London suggest that Freedman wants to bring his experienced mentor Lawrence and ex-Republic of Ireland defender Fleming with him, when his new job is finally confirmed later today.

Speaking after last night’s 1-1 draw with Barnsley, Lawrence - who had been in temporary charge of the Eagles - said Freedman had wished him luck, but made it clear that nothing had yet been confirmed on his own future.

“He's kept us posted and he phoned to say it was all done and phoned to wish us well,” he said.

“It's been a great experience working under him and it's been a terrific experience working at Crystal Palace Football Club.

“The owners have been very supportive and the whole thing's been terrific. “Managers don't normally leave the club when they're in as good a state as we're in but it's going to happen.”