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Millen would welcome Pulis

Thursday 21st November 2013 15:42

Keith Millen believes Saturday's trip to Hull City will be his last game in charge as Crystal Palace edge closer to appointing a new manager.

Millen has overseen first-team affairs since Ian Holloway stepped down after the club won only one of their first eight Premier League matches this season.

The caretaker boss could not confirm reports that Palace are in advanced talks with Tony Pulis, although Millen does believe the former Stoke boss would fit the bill and provide crucial top-flight experience.

"I spoke to the chairman on Tuesday and saw the chief exec this morning. They are in discussions, but I don't know who with," said Millen on Thursday.

"I've been told to get the squad prepared to travel on Friday for the game at Hull. We are looking forward to the game. It's not easy with the speculation, but it's a massive game and we've got to try and stay focused.

"I think if you look at what's needed, Tony (Pulis) is an experienced manager at this level. I think that would only be a good thing for the club and the players.

"We need someone with Premier League experience because a lot of us are very new to this level. We have got to look at the next four games. They are games we feel we can take points from."

Holloway parted company with Palace following the 4-1 defeat to Fulham at Selhurst Park on October 21, but Millen has backed chairman Steve Parish's decision to take his time over finding a replacement.

"It's a compliment to myself and the staff that the chairman hasn't felt rushed into a decision," Millen added. "We haven't changed too much over the past three or four weeks but the players have just got on with it.

"It looks like maybe this could be my last game in charge. I'm not looking at that. I'm just focusing on the job in hand.

"It's not right to talk about staffing issues until a new man does come in. He will assess what's here and see if he's happy with us

"After Saturday, we haven't got a bedding in period. The new man will need to assess the group we've got and settle in quickly."

Millen also confirmed that midfielder Jonny Williams will return to the squad to face Hull after being sidelined by an ankle injury he suffered while playing for Wales against Macedonia on September 6.

"Jonny Williams is back in the squad and it's great to have him fit and available again," added Millen, who is delighted that midfield trio Mile Jedinak, Kagisho Dikgacoi and Barry Barran all returned from international duty unscathed as he bids to lead Palace to their first away win of the season.

"It's been an honour to take charge. I've supported Palace all my life. I'm proud of the response the players gave me," Millen said.

"Ultimately though we need to start winning football matches and that's what we are aiming to do Saturday. Hull got promoted with us last year, so we know all about them and it's going to be a tough test for us.

"Hull have probably adapted quickest out of the three teams that have come up and we've got to play catch up. They are a difficult team to read in terms of their shape, but we've got to concentrate on us.

"The first goal could be really important on Saturday. But our players have more belief that if we do concede, we can get back into games.

"The performance will hopefully get you the points. But the three points are massive at this level. Every point is so important."

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