sport

Millen bemoans poor first half

Crystal Palace's caretaker boss Keith Millen admitted a 'lacklustre' first-half performance was costly in his side's 3-1 defeat to West Ham United.

Goals from Mauro Zarate, Stewart Downing and Carlton Cole condemned managerless Palace to their second successive Premier League defeat of the season.

Palace were forced to withdraw Joe Ledley after the midfielder was injured during the warm-up and despite a much improved second half display, which included a Marouane Chamakh goal, the Eagles could not avoid defeat.

After a week of turmoil at Selhurst Park, in which Malky Mackay was seemingly set to take over before , Palace's temporary boss Millen admits it has been difficult for the players.

"It seems to be the way it's going for us at the moment. Our first half performance was lacklustre," he told Sky Sports.

"We weren't at the races and it's not like us. It's been a tough week for everyone and losing Joe Ledley was another blow to us.

"I don't like making excuses as the man in charge, but you could say the players have got reasons to be a little bit down."

Millen says he was happy with team's response after heading into half-time 2-0 down, but believes silly errors ultimately cost the South London side.

"We conceded two goals in three-to-four minutes and it's tough. It knocks the stuffing out of you," he said.

"All of the sudden it changes and the atmosphere around the ground changes. I said the next goal was vital and we got that through Chamakh.

"2-1 and all of a sudden it's game on, and we've got a bit more energy about us and the fans get behind us," he added.

"But we've shot ourselves in the foot by conceding through another set piece.

"We're disappoinited with the manner of the first-half performance. I'm pleased with the way we responded but we killed ourselves with the third goal."