PADDY MCCARTHY says that in Ian Holloway, Crystal Palace have the best man around to try and keep them in the Premier League. The club captain made his first start in more than a year last night (Tuesday) in the Eagles' 4-1 pre-season victory at Dulwich Hamlet, having been out of action due to a troublesome groin injury. During his time out of the first team, there has been a great deal of change in SE25, with former manager Dougie Freedman leaving for Bolton Wanderers and Ian Holloway coming in to help guide the Eagles to promotion to the Barclays Premier League via the play-offs. McCarthy says that while it has been frustrating to be out of action for so long, it has been great to see how the club has developed, adding that the experience of Holloway has been a key part of the Eagles' success. And with many pundits tipping Palace for the drop this season, he says Holloway's experience of his time with Blackpool will be crucial to helping the team survive. "I think the manager's experience will stand us in good stead," he said. "It was a big thing for us around the play-off time and in us winning promotion. "He really came to the fore then when it got to the pressure stage and there were one or two little things which I am sure worked in our favour. "He made a massive difference to us and the preparation of how we approached the games. "And particularly in the lead-up to the final when he made sure everything was in place and working like clockwork. "It made such a difference for us and hopefully his experience will make a massive difference in how we approach it this year. "There is no better man for the job." For more from Paddy McCarthy and his frustrating injury troubles, see Friday's Croydon Advertiser.
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