Palace’s preparations for the relegation battle were disrupted on Saturday morning when Neil Warnock was sacked after just one win in 12 Premier League matches – the last a 3-1 home defeat to Southampton on Friday. But Millen hit the ground running with a goalless debut in west London
“I’m ready for it,” Millen revealed. “I think the players respect me. I’ve done it enough times, I’ve managed before and I enjoy working for the club. The chairman may feel he needs more experience, see what names are available. It’s an important decision because it’s a vital time now – we were in a relegation battle, we knew that and we have to continue focusing on getting results.
“It’s not the first time this has happened to us but you can see the response of the players – I was very proud of them. We were under pressure at times, we had to defend for our lives and we did. If you’re being greedy we could have nicked it on the counter-attack. Overall a draw probably was a fair result.”
A draw was a just outcome after a tentative start for both sides, largely devoid of quality.
As 22 minutes approached QPR fans broke into chants of “There’s only one Neil Warnock” sarcastically lauding the man who had dragged Palace into the relegation fight from the mid-table comfort previous manager Tony Pulis had taken them into last season. But they were instantly silenced when Jason Puncheon struck a marvellous first-time shot that beat Green and rattled his post.
During the interval – a welcome 15-minute respite from the boredom before it – a fan proposed to his girlfriend on the Loftus Road pitch, it marked by far the most exciting incident up to that point. Leroy Fer had two good chances after the break but spurned them and in-form striker Charlie Austin failed to get his 13th goal of the season with a back-post header that was deflected over.
It was the sort of finishing that is set to drive Redknapp into the January transfer window for a goal scorer, but the former Tottenham man has already revealed he can only afford loan signings.
“Where are you going to find a striker on loan?” the perplexed manager asked. “Who’s going to loan you a good striker? People will come up with names, they’ll be useless. ‘Harry what about him?’ Good luck.”
Millen now has to hope it is third time lucky for him as he aims to finally convince his boss that he is the man for the job, although he claims to be in no rush.
“It’s not about me,” he said. “It’s about the whole group getting a result for the football club. I didn’t say to them, go out there for me, that’s not right – they fought hard for Neil and they fought hard today for me and themselves.
“I don’t know how long I’ll be in charge for. He (Parish) just told me to take the team today and I’ll start preparing now for Aston Villa and then the FA Cup game. It’s a busy period and I’ve got to focus on that.”
QPR: Green 6; Isla 7, Caulker 6, Dunne 6, Hill 6; Hoilett 4, Barton 5, Henry 5, Fer 5 (Vargas 65, 5); Austin 6, Zamora 6 (Phillips 75, 4).
Crystal Palace: Speroni 6; Mariappa 6, Dann 6, Delaney 6, Ward 7; McArthur 6, Ledley 7, Jedinak 7; Bolasie 6, Puncheon 7; Zaha 6 (Campbell 67, 6).
Referee: Mike Jones.