While most people inside Selhurst Park were shocked by the departure of Tony Pulis, caretaker manager Keith Millen was praising his players for maintaining their concentration at Arsenal.

Despite a 2-1 defeat, having led through Brede Hangeland’s first half opener, Millen also heaped praise on the Eagles defensive qualities, but with two reservations.

He said: “I thought we were pretty comfortable. We knew they would have a lot of possession but we were terrific as a defensive unit.

“The players were switched on. They really concentrated on the job. We worked on set pieces and it was great to score from one but the last thing we expected was to concede from two of them.

“The manner of the goals is probably the only disappointment from today.”

Millen was also unhappy with the red card given to Jason Puncheon for two bookable offences and bemoaned his side’s luck.

“I didn’t really see a red card out there. He slid in, it wasn’t high, but maybe caught him slightly. There was no malice in any of the challenges,” he said.

“We didn’t get the rub of the green quite often and that may be summed up our luck.”

He added: “I think you saw the belief the players still have. On the back of last year we came into a tough game and competed. We looked the part but now we have to keep improving.

“If we keep that spirit and work rate together then I’m not sure there are too many teams better than that.”