Keith Millen 'proud' of Crystal Palace players after tough week, wants to be considered for vacant manager position

Keith Millen wants to considered for the vacant Crystal Palace manager position

Keith Millen wants to considered for the vacant Crystal Palace manager position

First published in Crystal Palace
Last updated
Wandsworth Guardian: Photograph of the Author by , deputy news editor

Acting Crystal Palace manager Keith Millen said he was "proud" of his players after a tough week, with Tony Pulis leaving the club just two days before the start of the new season.

Palace gave a resilient performance away to Arsenal yesterday afternoon, and were unlucky to miss out on a point when Aaron Ramsey gave the Gunners a 2-1 win in stoppage time.

Speaking after the game, Millen said: "I'm proud of the players, I'm proud of the performance. 

"You think what the players have been through for the last couple of days, you're never quite sure how they're going to respond to Tony leaving. 

"We spoke about it before the game, we said to them make sure there’s no excuses. 

"I didn't want to have to come in here today and stand up for them and say that their heads weren't on the job today, because of what’s happened.

"I think you could see by their performance and their togetherness that they are going to work hard for each other and this club."

Millen added the big disappointment in yesterday's game was the manner of the goals Palace conceded - both came from set plays.

Laurent Koscielny headed Arsenal's equaliser from a free kick in first half stoppage time, after Brede Hangeland had given Palace the lead, before Ramsey's goal followed a late Arsenal corner.

Meanwhile Jason Puncheon received a red card shortly before the winner, for two bookable offences.

Millen said "I'm disappointed not to have got something out of the game, which I think we deserved, and more disappointed with the manner of the goals we conceded.

"That’s the only disappointment really from today – the two goals and the timing of the goals.

"We pride ourselves on being organised and for the two goals we conceded we weren't and that's cost us today."

When asked if he was interested in the vacant manager position, Millen - who expressed no desire for the job when Ian Holloway left last October - admitted it's something he'd like to be considered for.

He said: "I’d like to continue, I enjoy being in charge, whether it’s the right time or not, I’ll speak to the chairman tomorrow. 

"I think the circumstances of last year, we’d had a really poor start, we’d won one in ten games, there was a lack of Premier League experience at the club and at the time I said I felt someone like Tony, if he came in, would give us that, and that’s how it panned out.

"He controlled the whole club, the squad of players and he gave us that belief that we could compete in the Premier League.  

"This time round these players have had that experience, they’ve got that confidence and also as staff we’ve grown in the Premier League.

"So the circumstances are different and whether it's right for me to put my name in the hat, I’ll speak to the chairman, because I’m sure he’ll have some direction as to where he wants to go with it."

Whoever is the new boss, Millen also admitted a decision needs to be made quickly, with the summer transfer window closing on September 1.

He said: "We’ve identified all summer the areas that we need to strengthen and for whatever reason that’s not happened. 

"I think the three players we’ve brought in have all had excellent debuts today, I think they’ve made us better, but there are areas that we need to strengthen as a club.

"It’s no secret, Tony knew what players he wanted and the club do so we’ve got a couple of weeks.

"That’s the other key thing, the new manger comes in, he needs to know in two weeks what players he wants.

"It’s not ideal if the club chooses them, you need the manager to choose new players."

 

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