Crystal Palace on 'hiding to nothing' without Wilfred Zaha, says Ian Holloway as he considers loan move for Manchester United winger
Holloway is tempted to ask new United boss Moyes if he can borrow Zaha
Tuesday 28 May 2013
Ian Holloway praised his Crystal Palace heroes and Kevin Phillips in particular after the veteran striker fired the Eagles into the Barclays Premier League at Wembley.
Phillips' extra-time penalty earned Palace a 1-0 win over Watford and promotion from the npower Championship in a game where £120million was at stake.
Now Holloway, who led Blackpool to the Premier League with victory in the 2010 play-off final, will seek to mastermind top-flight survival at Selhurst Park.
Rather than be too concerned about the recruitment possibilities from the enhanced revenue, Holloway focused on his playing group.
“How much you spend on your group isn't always what gives you,” Holloway said.
“It's what's inside their hearts and how much they work for you.
“I've been very fortunate that both teams that have done it for me, I was privileged to have worked with them. To me they're Palace heroes.”
With leading goalscorer Glen Murray injured, Phillips stepped up in his fourth play-off final to send Palace back to the top flight.
The 39-year-old had suffered play-off final heartache for Sunderland, West Brom and Blackpool, but had Holloway's backing.
“If I had to put everything I own on someone smacking it in the net, then I'd put it on Kev,” Holloway said.
Phillips is on loan from Blackpool, where his contract expires imminently, and Holloway would happily sign the striker once again.
“I'll keep signing him until he's nearly 50 or 60, if he keeps putting the ball in the net,” the Palace boss said.
“The difficult thing for Kev is living in a hotel once or twice a week because he doesn't need to move his family any more. That's what you lose; you lose that desire.
“So I don't train him every day. My lads accept that because they know what he does when he does turn up.
“It's his enthusiasm that he needs to keep. It's that little spark inside him, that jiggle. That's what I want to keep.
“It's your soul inside you. That little vibe when you get up in the morning. I've still got mine. Hopefully he's still got his.
“I can't wait to see him again and thank him for how well he's played for me.”
Phillips' decisive strike came in the 105th minute, with Holloway having already determined his penalty takers.
The spot-kick was earned when £15m winger Wilfred Zaha bamboozled the Watford defence for the umpteenth time and was brought down by Marco Cassetti.
Holloway is tempted to ask new Manchester United boss David Moyes if he can borrow Zaha next season.
“I think he'd be silly to give me him back,” Holloway said.
“Now we're up it might be realistic, but who knows?
“He (Moyes) will know the task he's got. Mine will be staying up, his will be winning every week. Good luck to him and good luck to us.”
Holloway's focus is now on keeping Palace in the top-flight, having overcome the critics who felt the Eagles would lose to Brighton in the play-off semi-finals.
Holloway said: “Everybody wrote us off, everybody. In a two-horse race there was one horse. We had no chance at Brighton away.
“We had enough match winners in our team that would cause a few problems. I've got to make sure we've got that next year.
“It all starts now for me because the minute we kick off next we're on a hiding to nothing, so we've got to make sure we can compete and I want to stay there.”
Gianfranco Zola plans to remain at Watford despite their near miss.
Zola was magnanimous in defeat, conceding Palace were the better side on the day, but felt his team deserved a second-half penalty when a Palace defender blocked the ball inside the area.
Zola said: “This game doesn't take anything away from our season. It's been a very good season.
“It's a very unfortunate thing we didn't play our best game. They played better and they deserved to win the game.”
Zola vowed the Hornets will bounce back.
“We're going to be stronger next year,” he said. “This is not the end of the road for us, this is just the beginning.
“I think it has been a big bonus for us to be playing this game today.
“I enjoy what I'm doing here and I'm going to make sure even my contribution is going to be better next year.”
Latest in Sport
Arsenal defender Kieran Gibbs posts bizarre video of his Miami holiday being invaded by an iguana
Football kits 2015/16: The good, the bad and the downright worst new shirts from around the world for next season
Arturo Vidal to Real Madrid: Transfer news live - Sergio Ramos to Manchester United, Lukas Podolski to leave Arsenal
Copa America 2015: When does it start, what channel is it on and who should I support?
Chelsea 2015/16 home shirt leaked again as new picture appears online
- 1 Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
- 2 People all over the world are getting semicolon tattoos to draw attention to mental health
- 3 Van driver who comforted Clark Carlisle and called 999 after suicide attempt dies age 24
- 4 James Blunt was special guest on the highest-rating Top Gear episode ever
- 5 Baby rescued 1km out to sea after parents forgot about her
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
'I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State' – David Cameron unleashes frustration at broadcaster
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
Greece crisis: The wider lesson is that it’s time to abandon this failed experiment in currencies
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture