Millen happy to sign off with draw
Published 10/11/2013 | 08:16
Keith Millen signed off as caretaker Crystal Palace manager with a smile on his face after a goalless draw with Everton.
The Eagles are due to appoint a new boss next week, with Wales chief Chris Coleman and former Real Madrid assistant Aitor Karanka thought to be the frontrunners to take over from Ian Holloway following his departure last month.
But in the meantime Millen was in charge as Palace ended a run of seven consecutive defeats.
They probably should have registered only their second win of the season but Kagisho Dikgacoi, Marouane Chamakh and Jerome Thomas missed gilt-edged chances.
Nevertheless, Millen said: "I'll certainly walk out with a smile on my face.
"We got what we deserved, in fact if we were being greedy we should have taken all three points with the chances we had, and if you are being critical we have to take them.
"But I'll never criticise players for missing chances. I asked them to be brave on and off the ball and they were.
"The belief is there, you can't ask for any more except to take your chances, that's the level we are at."
Dikgacoi was the first to fluff his lines when he made an almighty mess of a free header four yards out.
Then Chamakh headed wastefully wide from right in front of goal, and in the second half Thomas found himself one-on-one with Tim Howard.
The winger's chip beat the advancing keeper, but unfortunately for Palace it also cleared the frame of the goal and another chance went begging.
It means whoever takes over from Millen will inherit a team rock-bottom of the Barclays Premier League.
And Millen insists he is still in the dark about who will get the top job.
"I've not been involved in any discussions about names," he added.
"But we've got Hull next and I haven't planned that far ahead."
Everton put in a strangely subdued display for a side with a chance to climb into the top four and have now drawn a blank in successive matches.
They did have a chance to snatch victory late on when Phil Jagielka met a corner from Leighton Baines but his header crashed back off the crossbar.
Everton's fans were therefore left frustrated at the final whistle and defender Sylvain Distin appeared to have a heated conversation with some of them, although he later tweeted: "I was speaking to one single person and he knows who he is as I spoke to him face to face."
And manager Robert Martinez said: "If you played that game 10 times we would have won it nine times and maybe drawn it once.
"We have lost one in 11 and it's a good start. Today's performance was more about the banana skin that you come to Palace and everyone expects you to win, but I think we did a good job.
"There are no easy games.
"Palace were set up to be difficult to break down and hit you on the counter-attack. It was always going to be one of those days, if the ball hits the crossbar and goes back in that was the difference between getting the three points or not.
"We always want to find a way to break teams down but I have seen many times you get done on the counter-attack or by a set-piece, and I was very pleased we did not allow that to happen."