Millen: Holloway had no break

Crystal Palace caretaker manager Keith Millen could see that Ian Holloway was tiring towards the end of his tenure.

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Holloway: Tired in the last few weeks

Holloway: Tired in the last few weeks

Crystal Palace caretaker manager Keith Millen could see that Ian Holloway was tiring but admits it was difficult going into training without his friend on Thursday morning.

Holloway left the Eagles on Wednesday by mutual consent after the club only managed to pick up one win in their opening eight games of the Barclays Premier League season.

Millen will take temporary charge of the side, starting with Saturday's visit of league leaders Arsenal, and revealed he had noticed Holloway was starting to feel the strain.

When asked if he could tell the 50-year-old was starting to tire, Millen replied: "I did yes but it is not just recently.

"When you look back at the last three or four years he has been in the play-offs and getting promoted and hasn't really had a summer off.

"When we won promotion this year he was straight in to the recruitment of new players and was pretty tired when we came back from pre-season.

"When you don't get results it does take its toll and I think the frustration of not quite rejuvenating the group was quite hard for him to accept."

Millen, who has formerly managed at Bristol City, took training with the Palace squad on Thursday morning and said that Holloway had visited the players for a final time.

"It was difficult because Ian is a good friend of mine and he always will be and I love working with him," he said.

"Unfortunately I've been in this situation before and I know the day after it has happened it is almost a transitional period and you have to explain to the players what has happened.

"We had a meeting with the players and I explained to them what the chairman had told me and the reason for Ian leaving.

"Then Ian came in to the training ground and spoke to everyone and wished them all the best in the future.

"Everyone at the club is hurting because everyone enjoys working with him.

"Him and the chairman have made the decision for the right of the club and the players. Hopefully tomorrow they will come in and I can get them lively and enjoying playing football."

Millen ruled himself out of taking the job full-time and believes a more experienced top-flight manager is required to keep the Eagles in the division.

However, even though former Stoke manager Tony Pulis has been heavily linked with the position, Millen is certain he will pick the team this weekend.

"It is not the right time," he said when asked if he would go for the job.

"The type of manager the club needs isn't me at the moment. I love working for the club and it is the club I support. I will do my duties like the chairman has asked me to until the chairman tells me differently.

"I was brought up supporting Crystal Palace so it hurts that we have not been able to get more results so at the end of the day that isn't good enough.

"I would be amazed if someone was in place on Saturday."

Holloway cited the lack of cohesion amongst a squad which was heavily added to over the course of the summer following last season's play-off success as a reason for a string of bad results.

A 4-1 home defeat to Fulham on Monday night proved to be the end of the former Blackpool boss's reign at Selhurst Park and Millen admits the players need to click sooner rather than later.

"We have got to get the group united better because if you haven't got the best players you need a good team spirit and get them working for each other," he said.

"There is enough quality in that squad to get enough points to stay up. It is a fresh start, I have got no personal issues with the lads.

"I have enjoyed working with them and I enjoyed working with them today, nothing has changed from my point of view.

"I want a reaction, the club need a reaction and I think the fans do too and we will be looking for that on Saturday."


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