Crystal Palace news

Millen: There is hope for Palace

November 4, 2013
By David Instone

Caretaker boss Keith Millen insists Crystal Palace's mission at the foot of the Premier League table is not a forlorn one for the club's next manager.

Keith Millen
PA PhotosKeith Millen insists the Crystal Palace squad has a lot to offer.

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Millen has been handed the unenviable job of keeping the Selhurst Park hot seat warm between the departure of Ian Holloway and the appointment of a permanent successor.

The defeat at West Bromwich Albion means Palace have only picked up three points since arriving in the top flight.

However, Millen believes there is still hope for the Eagles.

"You can’t give the players belief but all you can do is show them things they are doing well," he said. 

"There have been positives without a doubt and the way they have responded in training gives them belief, so you have to show them what the positives are and you have just got to keep working hard in training.

"I said to them after the game that we need to be more ruthless in both boxes, even if it means doing more set-pieces in training, more finishing - if that is going to be the difference between it being 1-1 and game on and coming away with a 2-0 defeat.

"I can only talk about the reaction since Ian left and it has been positive. We have made sure the group work hard together. This group will be together now until the window opens, so my job is to try and gel them as much as possible.

"The new manger will come in and see a group that want to be successful at this level. You can see how hungry they are to prove themselves to people. 

"A lot of people will be writing us off and the type of players we have. Some of them have not been in the Premier League before and I am sure it is hurting them. They want to show people they can play at this level. The new manager will be encouraged when he sees this group."

The losing habit has certainly become deep rooted at Selhurst Park. Palace ended last season with only one victory from their final 10 Championship games - the same number as in the first 10 games of 2013-14.

With Holloway having questioned the spirit of the squad, the natural assumption is that relegation is a certainty.

But Millen argues: "I honestly think we can stay up. We have competed well with Arsenal and again here.

"The worrying thing is that we can’t keep saying we are doing good things and getting punished. I want the players to believe that when we get in that 18-yard box, we will score goals.

"I would be more worried if we were not creating chances. I think against Arsenal and West Brom, we created enough chances. That is pleasing but we have to be more clinical.

"I said to the players on Monday to ignore the league table because you don’t get relegated in November. But you don’t want to be adrift.

"The run of games we have (coming up) against teams in the lower part of the league … we have to focus on being better than three other teams. I think there is enough belief there. It will be tough but, if you don’t believe, there is no point going out training.

"What bodes well for this group is that we have never just capitulated. We have been in games and that is all you can do. The key moments have been going against us and we have to turn that round."


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