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Holloway: Palace peaking

Crystal Palace boss Ian Holloway believes his side are returning to form just in time for the play-offs.

Last Updated: 10/05/13 at 11:41 Post Comment   

Ian Holloway: His Crystal Palace side face Brighton in the play-offs

Ian Holloway: His Crystal Palace side face Brighton in the play-offs

The Eagles were challenging for automatic promotion two months ago but a run of nine matches without a win left them in danger of relinquishing their place in the top six.

Holloway admitted that run had been a "living, breathing nightmare" but it came to an end with Saturday's 3-2 win over Peterborough, during which top-scorer Glenn Murray ended an eight-game goal drought.

"I think we have got stronger over the last couple of weeks because things had been rosy, then it went wrong and nearly everyone in the ground, bar me, thought we were going to throw it away," said Holloway, whose side face Brighton in the first leg of the play-offs on Friday.

"The players have achieved something by getting in there. It would have been disastrous if we'd fallen out, particularly with Bolton and their old manager Dougie Freedman chasing us. But we are in there.

"To some of our fans that wasn't good enough and they've told me that, but I have to be a realist.

"When I first came here no-one said we had to go up, but we had a chance because of the way we were playing. Now we are in there fighting.

"This is about us having a chance to get the last promotion place to the Premier League. We almost lost it because the players wanted it so badly they got nervous. I don't sense that from them now.

"In life you have to grab things out of the fire and be brave and strong enough."

Palace have a fierce rivalry with Brighton stretching back to the late 1970s, something Holloway was made fully aware of when his side were beaten 3-0 at the Amex Stadium in March.

"What it means to the supporters is immense, they really don't like each other. I understand that now," he added.

"But what I can't do is get caught up in that. I have to focus on their strengths.

"There are four teams in it and no one can tell who is going to win. The best thing about all of this is we are still in with a chance."

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I

may well get slated by other United fans for this, but out of the three contenders, I'd far prefer Liverpool to win the title. Yes some elements of their fanbase can be a bit OTT, yes they're our biggest rivals and yes it will make our poor season feel even more like the end of an era (Fergie's gone, Liverpool are back on top). However I just have to applaud Brendan Rodgers and the way he's turned Liverpool around in just a couple of seasons. It...

Mike_Christie
Please Stop Telling Us What To Think

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ooray! We are all excited now, we beat a very mediocre team! With all due respect to WHU supporters, not winning that game shouldn't even be a consideration. This is the problem, there is no winning mentality at the Emirates - we're all congratulating ourselves beating a team that we have a winning record against.

TheWhiz
Wenger hails important win

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s this meant to be an aspiration for United supporters? Moyes mediocrity strikes again. I see the Bayern boys don't want to sign for him, and his reputation amongst the senior European coaches make other key signings unlikely.

redbornandbred
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