Tim Sherwood has emerged as a leading candidate to replace Tony Pulis at Crystal Palace after the former Tottenham Hotspur manager made a favourable impression at interview. The club are seeking to make an appointment early this week to give the new man time to add to his squad in what remains of the transfer window.

The Palace co-chairman Steve Parish conducted a round of interviews on Sunday 24 hours after watching his side lose 2-1 at Arsenal in their opening Premier League fixture of the season. The former Cardiff City manager Malky Mackay, who worked closely with the Palace sporting director Iain Moody while at the Welsh club, is also understood to have held talks as he looks for a return to management, with Chris Hughton, Steve Clarke and Roberto Di Matteo having come under consideration. There has been no contact with Neil Lennon, who left Celtic in the summer.

Mackay’s willingness to work with Moody had appeared to make him a strong candidate after eight months out of the game. Yet Parish has stated a desire to recruit a manager “who has got an intimate knowledge of the Premier League, either as a player or as a manager”. Mackay played only 14 times in the top flight for Watford and coached Cardiff for five months among the elite.

Sherwood’s experience as a manager at that level is just as brief, having stepped up from his role as Spurs’ technical co-ordinator to replace André Villas-Boas last December to spend five months in charge at White Hart Lane. He departed in May having steered the club to a sixth-place finish, accumulating 42 points in 22 matches, with Spurs exercising a break clause in his 18-month contract. However, his playing career was extensive in the division, with lengthy spells at Blackburn, whom he captained to the title, and Tottenham.

Palace hope to make a final decision in the next 48 hours with the hierarchy aware that the squad needs strengthening. Sherwood would seek to bring his coaching staff from Spurs, Les Ferdinand and Chris Ramsey, to Selhurst Park but could retain Keith Millen and Ben Garner, the caretaker manager and first-team coach, in his backroom team.

“We are looking for experience again,” Parish said. “There are lots of candidates that I have been sent, many are wonderful managers and it is fantastic to be associated with so many incredible people from all over the world. But we saw last year that experience in this league is so important. We will certainly not be straying too far from somebody who has got an intimate knowledge of the Premier League, either as a player or as a manager. I think that is our first port of call. That narrows down the list of people.”

There is a sense of disappointment on the Palace board at the timing of Pulis’s exit, with suspicions raised that the former Stoke manager had been sounded out over a potential position elsewhere.

“You would have to ask him,” said Parish when asked if he thought Pulis had a job proposal from a rival club. “I certainly think he intends to work. You would have to make that assumption, wouldn’t you? You would have to assume that if he does not want to be at this club, then he feels that there is a club that maybe can give him the things that he wants that would make him happy in the role.What happens now and where that manager ends up, we will all see, won’t we, and maybe that will give us a better picture.”

Millen also met Parish on Sunday and expressed a desire to take on the job, though Palace would prefer to retain his services on the coaching staff.The stand-in confirmed the players had been “frustrated and disappointed” at Pulis’s shock departure though the squad, while in need of reinforcements this month, is more streetwise for having survived last season.

“We’ve got a lot more belief about us as a team,” Millen said. “There is a lot more confidence there and an organisation that the players believe in. We’ve moved on from the way we struggled at the start of last season. We are a stronger group.”