Crystal Palace has hired Ian Holloway as its new manager, with the second-tier club eyeing a return to the lucrative Premier League for the first time since 2005.

The colorful Holloway left Blackpool on Saturday after more than three years in charge to sign a 4 1/2-year deal with Palace, which is fourth in the 24-team League Championship after 13 games.

Holloway says ''this is a fantastic opportunity for myself and a fresh start ... I got great energy when I met the club's owners and just can't wait to get going.''

The 49-year-old Holloway guided Blackpool into the Premier League in 2010, but the club was relegated after just one season. He succeeds Dougie Freedman, who left Palace for Bolton last month.