London - Managerless Crystal Palace responded to the sacking of boss Neil
Warnock with a gritty display in a 0-0 draw against fellow strugglers
QPR on Sunday.
Palace chairperson Steve Parish ended Warnock's
five-month reign on Saturday after the south London club slumped into
the Premier League relegation zone, but caretaker manager Keith Millen
convinced his players to ignore the turmoil and they delivered an
improved performance at Loftus Road.
The Eagles, linked with moves
for former Tottenham boss Tim Sherwood and ex-Porto chief Vitor
Pereira, remain in the bottom three on goal difference, while QPR are
two points above the drop zone.
Millen, in his third spell as
caretaker, made one change to the Palace team beaten by Southampton on
Boxing Day, with Wilfried Zaha replacing Fraizer Campbell up front as
the Eagles looked to register a first win in seven matches.
teams looked short of confidence and composure in a scrappy opening and
QPR striker Charlie Austin should have done better than shoot straight
at Palace goalkeeper Julian Speroni.
Yannick Bolasie produced
Palace's first real moment of quality when he unleashed a powerful
strike which Robert Green was at full stretch to keep out.
visitors went even closer in the 21st minute when Joe Ledley picked out
Jason Puncheon and the Palace winger curled in a first-time effort that
beat Green but rebounded to safety off the post.
After failing to
build any momentum in a drab first half, QPR went close to breaking the
deadlock soon after the interval when Leroy Fer's volley flew just wide.
forced Speroni to show his athleticism to get a hand to a powerful
strike from the Dutch midfielder as QPR finally found some rhythm.
Austin had a goalbound header blocked from a corner soon after and Puncheon's shot was tipped over by Green at the other end.
Millen responded to his side's struggles by sending on Campbell for Zaha midway through the half.
Harry Redknapp's side went agonisingly close to taking the lead in the
75th minute when Steven Caulker nodded goalwards from Joey Barton's
corner, only for James McArthur to alertly head clear from under the
And QPR spurned one last chance when Junior Hoilett failed to hit the target with a clear sight of goal.