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Palace boss Ollie: Fulham game not a must-win

Friday, 18 October 2013


CRYSTAL Palace manager Ian Holloway has rubbished talk that Monday night's visit of Fulham is a must-win match.

The Eagles have only the solitary victory since promotion to the Premier League - a 3-1 victory at Selhurst Park over Sunderland - and they are the total points they have collected in the opening months.

But Holloway has hit out at suggestions that Palace have to win the derby.

He said: "We've got 31 games to get 37 points - that's it. Simple.

"There is no such thing as a must-win or six-pointer because if we did win then someone should get six points - then it would make sense.

"Someone said to me the other day that the one thing you don't want to happen is to be cut adrift. But I go back to the fact we need 37 points from 31 games.

"It would be nice to get three points because we are at home under the floodlights and in front of our fans. We've got the chance to get three points against Fulham and then another chance against Arsenal a few days later. You can't judge where you are going to get your points from, you've just got to get them.

"Every home game is important because you have the advantage of the crowd. Away from home you hardly get a decision. We need the fans right behind the lads, like they have been, and to get some decisions that we're about due.

"When we do get a chance we have to make it count. We've been punished for mistakes and not capitalised ourselves.

"There is nothing wrong that a win wouldn't put right on Monday. Can we get? Can we work hard? I'm delighted it's a Monday game because if we'd had the game tomorrow I'd have had no chance whatsoever to get the team actually sorted [due to players being away on international duty]."

Fulham could line up with Darren Bent - a summer loan target for the Eagles - leading their attack. Dimitar Barbatov, Scott Parker and Aaron Hughes are also all set to be fit.

"They's got floods of stars everywhere - but it's not about that," said Holloway. "It's about us getting our game together. Can we hurt their back four and get at their full-backs? Stop Berbatov and Duff? It's a great challenge for us but that's what it is all about. I'd rather be where we are then fighting to get back up again.

"At the end of the day, Bent is their player and not our one. I look at our players and want to see if we can get them scoring. He chose Fulham. They have got riches beyond our means because of where they've been and with a new owner it is a new era for them. Good luck to them - but not on Monday night."


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