Championship Play-off: Ian Holloway fears cruciate knee damage for Crystal Palace striker Glenn Murray

 

Crystal Palace’s 30-goal striker Glenn Murray has been ruled out of Monday’s play-off second leg with Brighton after twisting his knee on Friday night.

Murray, the top scorer in the Championship this season, went down half-way through the second half of Palace’s 0-0 draw with Brighton and Hove Albion and will need a scan after suspected cruciate ligament damage.

“We have to get a scan,” said Ian Holloway afterwards. “It could be all sorts of things, we’re not sure yet. The doctor feels it might be something with his cruciate but we don’t know, but he’s obviously out for Monday.”

Palace were outplayed in the first half but had the better of the second half before Murray’s injury.

“All we didn’t do is score,” said Holloway afterwards. “They started quite well first half, but we were on the front foot second half and had two cleared off the line. So it’s still all to play for.”

“Now we’ve got to go there, they’ve got to watch us and we’re not bad at counter-attacking. This is where the pressure happens and starts building. It only takes one thing from us to upset them. The lads gained belief from that and more than matched them second half.”

“We have got to reproduce that at their place. Both got about 95 or 96 minutes to play. We’ll have to wait and see but it’s a fantastic opportunity for us.”

Gus Poyet was pleased with Brighton’s first-half performance, he said: “The thing that pleased me the most was the first half,” he said. “We were very good and controlled and had the best chance of the half. I don't say we were tremendously superior to Palace but we were the better team. Then second half we expected the reaction from Palace and it made the game more difficult for Palace. But we defended well and we showed again we are a very difficult team to beat. We will see if we can take that into Monday.”

Poyet admitted that his side are now favourites: “Normally you would say that in a final against Palace anywhere in the country it would be 50/50. But now we are at home, I need to give a bit more credit to our fans - it is 55-45 or 60-40 for sure. I am not going to hide about that.”

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