Ian Holloway targets swift promotion with Crystal Palace


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The Independent Football

Ian Holloway takes charge of Crystal Palace for the first time against Ipswich at Selhurst Park tonight hoping to recreate the magic that swept his former club Blackpool into the Barclays Premier League.

Holloway inherits an Eagles side who have soared to third in the npower Championship on the back of 11 straight games without a win, and paid tribute to former boss Dougie Freedman and assistant Lennie Lawrence.

Holloway told BBC Radio Five Live: "I am taking over from some fantastic people and I am the lucky beneficiary. My challenge is to try and beat what I did at Blackpool here at Crystal Palace."

Championship leaders Cardiff will be without Jordon Mutch, Craig Bellamy and Tommy Smith as they bid to put an end to a patchy run of away form with their trip to The Valley to face Charlton.

The Bluebirds slumped to defeat at Bolton at the weekend and boss Malky Mackay said: "It's how you recover from these situations that matter. We played well and when you look at our league position, there are positives to take into the Charlton game."

Second-placed Middlesbrough head to Nottingham Forest looking to extend a winning run of six matches in all competitions, with a doubt over boss Tony Mowbray, who was unable to take training on Monday due to illness.

In his absence coach Mark Proctor said: "Maybe it is about the balance of the team. We seem to have come together in a positive way and the results have been good. Let's see if we can continue to keep it going."

Leicester are without the suspended Zak Whitbread for their trip to Bolton, for whom David Ngog is also ruled out after being sent off soon after scoring the winner for his side against Cardiff on Saturday.

Blackpool are reportedly nearing naming a successor to Holloway as they prepare to travel to Sheffield Wednesday, while Henning Berg leads his Blackburn side to Huddersfield, and Nigel Clough's Derby meet Barnsley at Pride Park.

Hull face Wolves at the KC Stadium, resurgent Peterborough travel to Brighton, Leeds make the short trip to Turf Moor to face Burnley, Birmingham face Bristol City and Watford take on in-form Millwall at Vicarage Road.