Charlton are journeying into the unknown having dispensed with the services of a hugely popular manager and hired a head coach who knows he needs results quickly or the club could soon end up in League One, a division the club are already very familiar with.

Roland Duchâtelet, owner of Standard Liège and a man who has the major say at four other clubs, took a calculated risk by firing Chris Powell, a man who knows Charlton off by heart, and replacing him with José Riga, a coach with no experience of English football and with 16 games, at the rate of two a week, to get them safe.

So far he is unbeaten and two goalless draws from two tough games is a commendable start that has moved them up to third from bottom, but they need to start winning, and quickly.

"Our finishing was not there," said Riga, who when queried about his credentials pointed out that his big-league playing experience is similar to that of José Mourinho and Arsène Wenger. "I would prefer to win but I'm happy with the way the players showed they would take something here at Millwall. We are not last any more and psychologically that's important."

January had seen Charlton become part of Duchâtelet's portfolio, their two best players sold on and replaced with six loan signings, five of them from the owner's stable. It was a reluctance to use them that placed Powell, the eighth-longest serving manager of the 92 who led Charlton out of League One in 2012, on collision course with the Belgian owner over "football strategy", and cost him the job.

Two of the loanees started in Riga's first game, Wednesday's goalless draw with Huddersfield, two more than Powell used in the losing FA Cup tie at Sheffield United, but only one of them, Astrit Ajdarevic, started at the Den, when both teams made early chances. The best of Millwall's was a header from the busy 17-year-old Fred Onyedinma on his first start for the club which he put wide from Shaun Williams' cross.

Charlton replied by freeing Callum Harriott down the right seven minutes later but his weak shot was easy for the goalkeeper, David Forde, to deal with.

Riga stood impassively in his technical area throughout, and there was no audible dissent from the 2,000-plus Charlton fans who even passed over the chance to offer Powell a minute's applause in the third minute, as they had done in the Huddersfield game in midweek. They have moved on already.

Many remain worried that Charlton will become a feeder club to the higher-profile Liège but others are happy to give the Duchâtelet model a go after a season in which funds dried up under the previous ownership and Charlton scored only 24 league goals under Powell's stewardship, by some distance the worst in the division.

Ian Holloway, appointed as Millwall manager in January, has still won only one home league game and though he continues to talk a good game, his tally of 10 points from 36 tells its own story. "All we needed was a goal and it was going to be a fairytale," he said. "The long-term future for us is right, we've got some great youngsters and I can't wait to work with them. One-nil would have been a fair result today. The truth is, I'm gutted."

Still three points behind Millwall, Charlton follow this with home matches against Bournemouth and Burnley before a tricky trio of away games which would be enough to test anyone's mettle: Nottingham Forest, Derby and Leeds United. Riga needs to find the winning knack quickly and keep it for the run-in.