It was unlike us not to score, unlike us not to concede

Last updated : 11 January 2004 By Tony Scholes

Palace boss, in charge at home for only the second time, is still waiting for his first goal at Selhurst, but was much happier after having lost his first home game against Millwall with a solitary goal.

"I was pleased with the efforts of the lads this afternoon," said Palace boss Iain Dowie. "We had a lot of injuries going into this one and then picked up two more with Curtis Fleming and Tony Popovic.

"The pleasing thing for me though was the clean sheet. We finished the match with Danny Butterfield, Jamie Smith, Danny Granville and Gary Borrowdale playing at the back and that’s not a big back four. So they did very well to keep the clean sheet.

"I have to say that I thought the first half performance was poor. I wasn’t too pleased with that but in the second half we did better and towards the end we tried to mix it up and go for it.

"There were a lot of attacking players out there in Tommy Black, Dougie Freedman, Andy Johnson, Wayne Routledge and Julian Gray, and we created a lot of opportunities. Unfortunately we just didn’t have much luck in front of goal this afternoon.

"I felt Danny Butterfield and Ben Watson struggled in the centre of midfield for the first 25 minutes but then they got into the game and did well whilst I also though Danny Granville did very well. He showed me today what he is all about.

"I am just concerned as to who will be fit in time for next weekend – let’s just say I’m dusting my boots down."

It was the defence that Stan highlighted after the game when he seemed more than pleased to have picked up a point.

"A draw was a fair result overall," he claimed after the match. "We are happy with that although obviously we would have liked to have won. But we kept a clean sheet and we are building. "We have had a couple of clean sheets now and I am happy with that. It was unlike us not to score, but also unlike us not to concede.

"We defended very well today when we had to. The home side is always expected to have the lion’s share of the pressure and with a new manager their players would be trying to impress.

"We had a chance or two as well and Thomas Myhre’s save from David May was probably the best save of the game."

On the injury front Stan reported: "Richard Chaplow had an abductor strain and we had a test on both him and Glen Little this morning.

"Chappy was able to start but Glen wasn’t quite ready but he came on and got through a good 35 minutes and also did well."

Chappy now has two weeks to get fit – he misses the clash against West Brom next week serving a one match suspension following his sending off at Mansfield.