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Holloway: Sluggish starts costing Palace

20 January 2013

Ian Holloway admits Crystal Palace need to be quicker out of the blocks if they are to keep up with the npower Championship's pace-setters.

Palace have now won just one of their last eight league outings and are two points outside the automatic promotion places following a goalless draw with Bolton.

Manchester United and Arsenal target Wilfried Zaha came closest to breaking the deadlock when he hit the post as Palace piled on the pressure in the second half.

But Eagles boss Holloway admitted: "We start slowly, like my car did this morning. But the longer the game went on the better we looked and I find it hard to believe we didn't win, but that's the way it's going at the moment.

"So the players are disappointed, we really want to stay in touch with the top teams and go up automatically, so we have to turn games like that into three points towards the end of the season. We were a gnat's wing from taking the three points that I thought we deserved."

Zaha's future remains high on the agenda at Selhurst Park with a move to the Barclays Premier League inevitable, be it this month or in the summer.

"Wilf is so exciting, I just want him to get the ball," admitted Holloway. "For him to be talked about is great - but he plays for Crystal Palace."

Palace legend Dougie Freedman quit Selhurst in October to take over at Bolton, but he did not get a reception anything like as frosty as the conditions.

"I enjoyed the game, we had plan and stuck to it and played some terrific football," said Freedman. "Towards the end Palace got their widemen in the game but I'm satisfied with the performance.

"I felt it was a fair result and I'm satisfied with a point. I thought it was a fantastic reception, I had some wonderful times here and they will never be taken away from me."

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