Holloway targeting final spot

Ian Holloway is hoping for a moment of magic from one of his players when Crystal Palace head to Brighton on Monday.

Last Updated: 11/05/13 at 14:12 Post Comment

Ian Holloway: Looking for a moment of magic

Ian Holloway: Looking for a moment of magic

The npower Championship play-off semi-final is evenly poised after a goalless draw between the fierce rivals at Selhurst Park on Friday night.

Seagulls boss Gus Poyet says the tie is now "60-40" in his side's favour with the second leg at home, while Palace will be without 30-goal top scorer Glenn Murray.

Certainly the form book favours Brighton, who are now undefeated in 10 matches while Palace have won once in 11. The Eagles were also thumped 3-0 on their last visit to the Amex Stadium in March.

But Palace boss Holloway said: "Now we have to go there and they will have to watch us because we aren't bad at counter-attacking.

"Obviously we will have to stop them at their own ground, but this is where the pressure happens, this is where it all starts building. It only takes one thing from us and that could upset everything.

"They had the best chance in the first half but in the second half we gained in confidence and did not look bad at all.

"Let's see if we can reproduce that at their place. We'll have to wait and see but it's a fantastic opportunity for us, we have to do better than we did at their ground last time."

Former Seagulls striker Murray faces a long spell on the sidelines after suffering a suspected cruciate injury - but there was some positive news about key midfielder Jonny Williams, who limped off late on.

"He just cramped up," added Holloway. "He should be okay, but he literally couldn't walk when we got him off."

It would have been worse for Palace had Julian Speroni not pulled off a fine save to keep out Dean Hammond's first-half header.

But they improved after the break and had efforts from Danny Gabbidon and Kagisho Dikgacoi cleared off the line.

However, Poyet said: "If you told me after 47 games we would have the opportunity to go into the play-off semi-final at 0-0 at home, I would take it.

"So I think it is a very good opportunity on Monday. We are playing at home so we need to make home advantage count and try to win."

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e have the personnel. The trick is keeping them fit. Carrick and Blind have missed large chunks of the season, while the defence has been one muddled mess of intermittent stooges, all coming and going at various intervals thus far. We may be just short of title winning quality, but we're half way through. An injury crisis to either of the top two could change things. Optimistic, yes, but not unrealistic.

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arish is the man to blame for this shambles. Pulis must be chuckling into his left over turkey sandwich. I pray this doesn't mean the Neil Warnock media machine will kick in now and he'll be back on the telly box.

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e almost found a new way to lose, just when I thought it was getting boring Giroud does that. Although Arsenal are deservedly called 'soft' the entire midfield is out injured. Still must admit MU are managing to win despite a similar raft of absentees. Think the Gunners have good players but poorly coached.

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