Saturday, May 26, 2018

Holloway: All to play for in Championship play-off semi-final

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 10 May 2013


Crystal Palace manager Ian Holloway was pleased with his side’s play-off semi-final first-leg performance in their 0-0 draw with Brighton.

Both sides had good chances to win, but an injury to Palace striker Glenn Murray overshadowed the game as he was stretchered off with a knee problem.

The incident came from a Palace corner in the 64th minute when the ball dropped to Murray on the far right of the penalty area. As he went to turn, his studs got caught in the pitch and his knee buckled underneath him.

He left the field on a stretcher after receiving treatment in the penalty area and Holloway confirmed that it looked serious, although the full extent of the injury was not yet known.

“We’re not sure how bad that is,” he told Sky Sports. “He felt he was tackled but we’ve
all told him there was no-one near him and that he just turned.

suspect it’s something wrong with his cruciate but we don’t know what
that is yet, we’re hoping it isn’t bad.

“It’s never a good thing
to do, we’re not certain that’s it (for his season) so we’ll get that scanned and
checked out but obviously he’s not going to be right for Monday, but it gives someone else a chance.”

Despite that disappointment, the Palace manager was pleased with his side’s performance in a captivating game that had everything except for a goal.

“I thought that was a fantastic game,” he continued. “They came out well, we got to grips with it, they had a good chance in the first half, great save (by Julian Speroni) and then we had two really brilliant ones.

“I don’t know how we haven’t scored but it’s all set up for (the second leg on) Monday night.”

Brighton manager Gus Poyet was also satisfied with the draw. His side controlled large parts of the first half and defended resolutely when Palace came back after the break – something that pleased the Uruguayan.

“It was clear that first half we were the better team,” he told Sky Sports. “We were in control, the second half was a bit more crazy and open.

“If you’d have asked me before the game if we would be happy going into the play-off semi-final (second leg) playing at home with a 0-0 I would have taken it. I think it is a very good opportunity we have.

“We didn’t have too many chances, the one we did have he (Speroni) made a great save.”

Brighton will go into the second leg at home having only lost three times there all season, so Poyet remains optimistic that they can do enough to get them into the final.

“We need to be pleased,” he added. “We tried to control it, had to defend (at times), (but I’m) very happy.

“There is no advantage and we’re playing at home, let’s make sure we make home advantage count and try to win.”


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