In a dire game at Selhurst Park, Palace dominated possession but lacked a cutting edge as they made it four games unbeaten. It put them eight points behind second-placed Hull with five games left and facing the lottery of the play-offs, but Holloway is not giving up on the top two.
"The more we get a point and not three the worse it will be, all we have to do is try and get some rhythm back to us and start scoring goals again," he said. "We have to take it in small steps, we have definitely stayed up, then you have to try and get enough to get in the play-offs, then that first or second spot after that.
"What we have to do is get on a better run than this, the people that time those runs are normally successful."
Andre Moritz forced Luke Steele into two good saves from long-distance free kicks and Aaron Wilbraham put two late chances over the bar as Palace failed in front of goal for the fourth game running.
"It was very disappointing for the lads," added Holloway. "They have had a big ruck in the dressing room because they want it so bad and I have had to go in and calm them down.
"It's just the way it is, it is a wonderful club and a wonderful place and I have people that really care about it. But I had a right go at them and said they have to stick together."
A mix-up with the kits threatened to derail Barnsley's preparations as they had to play in the Eagles' away kit after referee Keith Stroud deemed the Tykes' blue and black away outfit clashed with Palace's red and blue home kit.
"There was a bit of a stand-off before the game as I didn't want my players to not have the Barnsley badge, something they play for every day," said Barnsley manager David Flitcroft. "But you realise the sense is probably to listen to the referee and I think it was the right decision.
"He asked us if we could wear our warm-up tops which I didn't think was appropriate so we decided to go with Palace's kit. The club has done everything it could before the game to make sure we had this situation right. We spoke to referees in the week and made sure they were happy with the kit and then we got here at 1.30pm and it was all change."