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

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.”

PA

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Scunthorpe goalkeeper Sam Slocombe (left) is congratulated by winning penalty taker Miguel Llera (right)
football
Life and Style
A woman walks by a pandal art installation entitled 'Mars Mission' with the figure of an astronaut during the Durga Puja festival in Calcutta, India
techHow we’ll investigate the existence of, and maybe move in with, our alien neighbours
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Ian McKellen tempts the Cookie Monster
tvSir Ian McKellen joins the Cookie Monster for a lesson on temptation
News
i100
Travel
Tourists bask in the sun beneath the skyscrapers of Dubai
travelBritish embassy uses social media campaign to issue travel advice for festive holiday-makers in UAE
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
10 best high-end laptops

10 best high-end laptops

From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
Adam Gemili interview: 'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

After a year touched by tragedy, Adam Gemili wants to become the sixth Briton to run a sub-10sec 100m
Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

Homeless Veterans campaign

Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

Meet Racton Man

Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

Garden Bridge

St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

Joint Enterprise

The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

Freud and Eros

Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum