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Holloway: 'Crystal Palace started Cardiff game well and ended terribly'


PALACE boss Ian Holloway felt his side deserved to add to their early lead at Cardiff City on Boxing Day, but was left to rue a number of missed chances as the Bluebirds stormed back to take all three points.

It was a disappointing second half for his side as they allowed Malky Mackay's men to run them ragged and it was the Eagles' inability to force a late equaliser that left Holloway frustrated.

"We started well and ended terribly, basically," he said.

"Wilfried Zaha hit the bar and Glenn Murray tripped over the ball when clean through, but I thought we stopped creating chances, and in these games you can't do that.

"You know Cardiff are going to come back at you with a crowd they have and I'm disappointed with the last 15 minutes because if any team looked like they were going to score another goal, it was Cardiff and not us.

"After they scored the second, I didn't think my team did what they needed to do. In fact, we got worse, not better."

And the manager hinted again that he will be looking to add some more firepower to support Glenn Murray in attack during the January transfer window, but with a few sloppy goals given away in recent games, he may even look at his defensive options as well.

"We are still playing well, but what we needed was the goal to go in with our play we already had," he said.

"Glenn Murray has got 20 goals and the rest of our team, I think Wilfried is next, has five.

"We need more goals in and around the place but unfortunately things have been going in at the other end and if you give someone a free header six yards out, they don't normally miss.

"I just didn't like the way we ended the game because you always should look like you know what you're doing, and we should have been probing them and they should have been hanging on, but they broke out and looked like they might get a third.

"That would have been the last thing I would have wanted so we've got to look at that part because that could be vital by the end of the season."

Meanwhile, with the transfer window fast approaching, Holloway was questioned about Wilfried Zaha, who went close with a thunderous shot against the crossbar and had an appeal for a penalty turned down in either half.

"I wasn't confident I was going to keep him on the pitch because he got booked," said the boss, who was frustrated with the referee's decisions going against his star winger.

"How dare he get fouled and tripped up so many times!

"Do I know if anyone is going to offer us anything for him? Do I know, based on his performance at Cardiff? Who knows?

"Unfortunately, he hit the bar with a brilliant bit of skill and it didn't go in. I wish it did. That would have been interesting, wouldn't it?

"I can't believe it [the penalty appeal] in the second half. I've looked at it, and if that isn't a penalty, then, you don't get that at Cardiff, not even a free-kick.

They go up the other end and get one. So, well done, good luck to them, maybe the colour red might make the difference – I doubt it because it's normally down to good players. "

One of those players came in the shape of Craig Bellamy, who picked up the man of the match award for a tireless display down the left, including the assist for Craig Noone's equaliser in the first period.

And Holloway was quick to praise the forward following the game.

"Players like him don't grow on trees," he said. "Players like him, as I said to my lads, they probably shouldn't be at this level but he's got a special affinity with Cardiff and he wanted to come and play here.

"He could probably retire but he wants to do something special for his hometown club, and he's quality.

"But I'm not saying my players aren't quality. Unfortunately, when we needed that bit of quality in the game, we didn't quite produce it even though we were on top."

With the games coming thick and fast, Palace travel to Nottingham Forest tomorrow looking to end the year on a high and go back to the automatic promotion places ahead of the match against Wolverhampton Wanderers on New Year's Day.

But Holloway insists there is still a long way to go and that nobody in the Championship has made a clear statement just yet.

"Nobody has done anything yet [in the league]," he said.

"I'll have a chance to think about Nottingham Forest, but then we've got Wolves. How good are these teams? Forest have got a big investor, someone who demands success.

"Wolves, their fans are baying for blood and they want success in a wonderful division.

"At the moment, Cardiff are doing better than everybody, but it was a lot closer between us in my opinion.

"If we had gone two-nil up, because we would have deserved to at that time of the game, what would it have been? Who knows."

"We'll lick our wounds and see what we can do against Forest, who aren't bad. But we aren't bad either."

Holloway: 'Crystal Palace started Cardiff game well and ended terribly'

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