LONDON -- Crystal Palace caretaker manager Keith Millen admitted that his players were probably distracted by the turmoil at the club as they suffered their second defeat in two games of the new season to West Ham United.
"We were flat," Millen said, after the Hammers won 3-1 at Selhurst Park thanks to goals from Mauro Zarate, Stewart Downing and Carlton Cole.
Marouane Chamakh briefly raised home hopes with a 47th minute goal, but Cole clinched the win for a vastly superior West Ham.
"We never really got any tempo to our pressing," Millen said. "We allowed West Ham to control the game."
Palace lost manager Tony Pulis on the eve of the campaign, and are still yet to find a replacement, a process thrown into flux by the withdrawal of Malky Mackay's candidacy, after he and Eagles sporting director Iain Moody were involved in controversy over text messages sent while working together at Cardiff City.
Moody quit this week, to leave the club bereft of anyone to carry out transfer business in the final week of the summer window.
"In general we were lacklustre," Millen said. "We don't like to make excuses but it's been a tough week for the players. It's been a shock to everyone, the circumstances of Tony leaving, and this Wednesday, Thursday, with Malky.
Asked if he knew of any fresh developments in the new manager search, Millen said: "No, I don't."
Co-owner Steve Parish is the man tasked with finding the new man to take over and Millen said: "The chairman's left me to concentrate on the game today."
Millen admitted his interest in the vacancy. "I know what he's looking for from our personal conversations," he said of Parish. "If he feels I am the right person to do it then I'll talk to him again.
"I don't think today's performance should have any real reflection on myself or my chances, or at least I hope so."
Millen suggested that Parish will not be forced into a quick decision.
"If the chairman doesn't find the right person, he won't be rushed into it," he suggested.