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Holloway: Pre-Boro

15 February 2013

Ian Holloway gave his pre-match views to the Palace website ahead of his side's clash with Middlesbrough this Saturday. Here's what he had to say:

On Boro

Training has gone very well, we are very excited and the lads are in good spirits.  I thought they enjoyed their comeback the other day and enjoyed how they played.  We are getting a few more people back down the training ground, getting fit and ready to go, it should be quite exciting really.  It's really close (up the top) and I think it will be, so it’s all about beating those up and around you.  If you do that you give yourself a chance and if you can't then you won’t do it.  We know what we have to do and we are looking forward to try and do it.

They have a fantastic squad and a manager who is experienced and, in Tony Mowbray, who wants to play football the right way and he has got promoted in the past. They have got a chairman who is one of the best in football and they tried to buy someone for £5m this transfer window, so there are no doubts to what they are trying to do.  I am more and more excited about my team and what we are trying to do so it will be a good game of football and hopefully be as good a game as we saw last Friday.  I thought we were two good teams trying to play the right way and it was a fantastic game of football. We have 15 games to go and Middlesbrough is one of them and I am really excited about our fans trying to make a difference to us and for us. The atmosphere they created at Watford was sensational and I am really looking forward to them doing that at Selhurst Park.  

On Facing The Top Sides

It's all about the same preparation but when the games are running out that's when it becomes real.  What you have to do is go out and think about the process rather than any sort of result or what you need to do. You try and keep your mind in the game and the teams that do the best will get the best results.  Nothing is decided yet, there are an awful lot of clubs who would love to get promoted and I think Reading proved last season that if you get best focus and get one or two players in to help the group believe…then you can end up catching up all sorts of people.  We intend now to have a good run, can we do it? Can we be consistent enough? Only time will tell. I believe we can.

On Having Options

It makes it easier because if the game’s not going the way you want, then you have people sat there ready to change that.  The great thing is the balance of the team, I can change it like that (clicks fingers). I can have two people run at you, I can have one.  I can have passers in there, I can have goalscorers in there I can change it completely around.  Whereas two weeks ago I think the squad was really stretched.  I had lost Garvan, I had lost Moritz who played in that hole and Williams wasn't fit enough.  It was very difficult to actually change anything that was happening to have a really dramatic effect on any sort of game. In the last two games it wasn’t going the way we wanted. We switched it around and we managed to do enough, I felt, to win both of them and that would have been six points. If it was we would have been a bit higher up, but it wasn't, we didn't finish that off and we got four points from six in two very tough games.  If we can get that sort of points tally in the next two games then who knows, if we get six points in the next two games who knows where we could be. It can change really change that quickly and with the games ticking and running out we are in a fantastic position but so are some other people as well. 

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