Belfast Telegraph

Harry Redknapp extends warm greeting to axed Neil Warnock

QPR 0 - Crystal Palace 0

By Alec Shilton

Insult was inadvertently added to injury for Neil Warnock as Harry Redknapp extended the warmest of welcomes to the former Queens Park Rangers manager in his programme notes.

Warnock will feel that Steve Parish, the Crystal Palace chairman, has been as hasty in his assessment of his work as Rangers were in going to print.

Warnock (66), was dismissed by Parish on Saturday, four months after being installed as Palace's manager when Tony Pulis left just 48 hours before the start of the season. He had three wins from 16 matches in the league.

Croydon-born Keith Millen will oversee first-team duties until a new man is appointed.

Millen stands an outside chance of being given the job on a full-time basis and confirmed that he would like the chance.

"I've not been told I've got a chance," Millen said. But it remains likely that Parish and his consortium will look elsewhere.

And if Palace are in need of a manager, the recruitment of a striker appears only marginally further down their list of priorities. The glaring absence in their lineup for this game was that of a recognised striker, while their hosts were able to name one, namely Charlie Austin, with 12 league strikes to his name, which is six more than Palace's four strikers have managed between them.

The match was the seventh in succession that Palace have failed to win and both form and performances have suggested that the rot is worryingly deep-set. But this was an improvement.

Millen deployed Wifried Zaha as a striker, flanked by Jason Puncheon and Yannick Bolasie, while Redknapp switched to a back-four from the defensive five that were narrowly defeated at Arsenal on Boxing Day. Redknapp, the QPR manager, will have targeted a win from this fixture but the visitors looked equally as likely to score.

With 22 minutes gone the home fans burst into an ironic chorus of 'there's only one Neil Warnock', spurring Palace on to a slick move that culminated in Puncheon curling a left-footed effort against the outside of the post from the edge of the area.

Warnock might have wondered where this kind of defensive resilience had been, as Palace restricted QPR to two decent long-range efforts, while Scott McArthur cleared Steven Caulker's header off the line with 15 minutes left.

Palace were denied a penalty on full-time as Rob Green palmed another Puncheon effort towards sub Fraizer Campbell who appeared to tumble over Joey Barton's leg only for referee Mike Jones to remain unmoved.

"The lad told one of our lads he slipped," Redknapp said.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph