COLUMNIST Alex White pays a special tribute to Crystal Palace's perennial caretaker boss...
I would like to take a moment to pay a huge amount of respect to, yet again, the unsung hero that is Keith Millen.
Much like his last two brief tenures in charge of Palace he brought back organisation and discipline. The two games against QPR and Aston Villa were hardly the most exciting and I accept we didn't play the most expansive football but Millen performed everything that was expected of him.
Millen's remit was to steady the ship and stop the rot, and that is exactly what he did. I was delighted to see us play to our strengths again; every player was well drilled and knew their jobs and as a result of that, the players grew in confidence and started to believe they could achieve what they did last season.
Much like prior to the Tony Pulis appointment, Millen has built a neutral platform for Alan Pardew to build on and has made his task a hell of a lot easier. I can't speak more highly of Keith, he is a great guy and he loves Palace. What a great servant to this club.
Super Al's first week in charge of Palace is well under way and I am sure he will be impressed with what he saw at Dover. Granted we should be beating semi-pro sides with ease but in the beauty of the FA Cup, it would have been easy to overlook the Conference side.
I was particularly impressed with how quickly we started. Under the previous regime it was becoming a bit of a habit to be sloppy from the off. Regardless of the opposition, it is key to start quickly in any game and no more important than this game. If you start slowly against teams like this they build confidence and that is when the potential banana skins become a reality.
It is always pleasing to score four goals against anyone and it can only have a good affect. I was very impressed with how professional we were in almost a 'no-win' fixture.
If we could make a quick start in our next game against Spurs we could well be looking at three points. I spoke of how average the Spurs side was prior to our game at White Heart Lane.
Back in December we all witnessed it first hand. We dominated the game but failed to hit the back of the net for a change! If we can pile on the pressure early and get ahead I am confident enough in our defensive qualities to hold out.
I can't wait to see the response Pardew will get when he returns home and walks out of that tunnel. I, like most Palace fans, are excited to go and watch their side once again.