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Holloway: We were punished

Ian Holloway admitted that Crystal Palace were learning the hard way about the Premier League after going down 3-1 at Liverpool.

Last Updated: 07/10/13 at 11:37 Post Comment

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Goals from Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge put the Reds firmly in control inside the opening 20 minutes and Steven Gerrard added a third before half-time from the penalty spot.

Holloway acknowledged after the final whistle that his side had been given a harsh lesson, but he was able to take a lot of positives from the way Palace battled back after the interval and grabbed a late goal through Dwight Gayle.

He told Sky Sports: "It is very difficult. You make any sort of mistake at this level and you are punished, especially with their strike force.

"A large majority of it I was very pleased, particularly in the second half. I thought a lot of teams would have folded there after what happened, but we came back.

"Unfortunately we are finding out the hard way that at this level if you don't take your opportunities, and they might be few and far between, it is going to be a long tough game and season."

Holloway was unhappy with Liverpool's third goal as he felt the referee had made a mistake in penalising Dean Moxey following an incident with Raheem Sterling.

He said: "It's absolutely minimal contact, if anything at all, and it wasn't even inside the box.

"If that's a penalty then we should have had one with Jimmy Kebe, that's my honest opinion. (Mamadou) Sakho's done much more to stop him getting to the ball than ever dreamed of happening at the other end."

Holloway added: "I thought the second-half performance showed a lot of guts and determination and that's Palace for you. I think our fans were fantastic and we'll gain a lot of belief from that, actually winning the second half 1-0."

Holloway also lavished praise on Gayle, saying: "He is fantastic striker. With his predatory instincts I need to think about getting him right through the middle and getting him on the last man if I can."

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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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