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Holloway: I didn't want Stoke replay
IAN Holloway admitted a draw was the last thing he wanted after his Crystal Palace side were held 0-0 by Stoke in their FA Cup third round meeting today.
In a game of few chances, the Championship Eagles will probably feel they did enough to win but instead they must head to the Britannia for a replay on January 15.
Manager Holloway said: “I wanted to win or lose basically and I wasn’t bothered which as long as we had a good performance.
“The way the game was going I’m glad we didn’t lose because I felt my boys didn’t deserve to.
“It was a practice match in a great competition and I played as strong a team as I had available apart from Julian Speroni, who I felt needed a rest.
“Lewis Price had to show me how well he is doing and I thought he did fantastically well.
“I’m sat there watching my team and it looks like my team there and if that is after eight weeks, I’m really looking forward to the rest of my four years.”
Despite edging it, Holloway also denied it could be seen as a moral victory for his battling side against top flight opposition.
“No, not really,” he said.
“I see it as a good game, I see them as a good side – fantastically well organised to be honest with quality everywhere - and I saw us looking more like our team, so I’m delighted.
“I thought we played very well, and we had to, and it was a very decent game.
“There were a few strange decisions for both sides funnily enough.
“There was a booking for Jonathan Walters which I didn’t think was and there was a foul on Wilf which I thought was.
“Then Stuart O’Keefe got away with the second one that should have been a yellow I thought to be honest.
“He has already been booked so it was all a bit weird for Tony Pulis and I.
“All I’m looking at is shape and pattern and it is starting to come.
“There are bits we can do better ie getting turned and getting at people a little bit more.
“But obviously without Glenn Murray and Aaron Wilbraham we had a bit of a problem and I thought we started a different way which almost got us a goal.
“When they sussed it they broke on us so I had to go back to what we normally do but I’m delighted with the lads.
“That’s probably the youngest bench I’ve ever had and a great experience for them and now we’ve got another game at Stoke where it is notoriously difficult to go and play because their crowd is brilliant.
“Their club is buzzing and it will be a fantastic experience for my lot, but the confidence I believe is starting to come.”
One of the main talking points of the match was a foul on star man Wilfried Zaha by Ryan Shotton just before half-time which wasn’t spotted by referee Neil Swarbrick.
Holloway was far from impressed by the official’s overall display but the good news for Palace fans is that Zaha should be back for next weekend’s trip to Burnley, despite being forced off early in the second half.
The Selhurst chief said: “I just thought it was strange when he has given a yellow card for an innocuous one (by Jonathan Walters).
“I don’t think Jon Walters could do anything, I think it is an accidental clip of someone’s heels and he has gone like that so I don’t think that was a yellow.
“So when you are saying that is a yellow what is the one in the box then?
“Because it has caught Wilf and Wilf has had to get brought off.
“Whether he meant it or not he has crossed it and someone has then played him after.
“If we don’t score that’s a foul isn’t it?
“I’m sure Tony will be as upfront as I am, I thought that was quite strange the way he officiated that today.
“Wilf will be fine, he has got another foot.
“He tried to run it off but he also rolled it as it happens so we will wrap him in cotton wool but it was nice for Jason Banton and Jonathan Williams to get out there.
“Wilf will be fit for our next game.”
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