Football - Holloway bemoans cup distraction

Crystal Palace boss Ian Holloway admits he would rather be working on making signings on Tuesday night than overseeing his side for their Capital One Cup second-round tie at Bristol City.

PA Sport
Championship - Holloway has Premier League ambitions
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Ian Holloway (PA Photos)

Holloway has already added a host of players to Palace's squad since their promotion to the Barclays Premier League in May.

But after Saturday's 2-1 defeat at Stoke - which made it two losses out of two top-flight games so far for the London club this term - he made it clear we wants to bring in more before the transfer window closes on September 2.

And with that in mind, when asked if he was pleased Palace are back in action just three days after the Stoke match, Holloway said: "Not really, no.

"I should be locked in a room with my chairman, trying to get some more signings in.

"But this is just the way it is. It is absolutely manic, completely and utterly crazy."

Holloway intends to shuffle his pack for the clash with Sky Bet League One outfit City, both in order to give game time to some members of his squad that are yet to feature this season and also to rest some of those who are deemed key to the Premier League campaign, which he has emphasised is the absolute priority.

Asked if he would be making changes for Tuesday's contest, Holloway said: "I think so.

"I think the other lads need a game, so I will have to give them that.

"And it is about getting some points in this division. That is the truth.

"We have to do that quickly, otherwise it builds and builds - although there were lots of promising things out there (in the Stoke match) that showed me they are gaining belief in what we are doing."

Palace, who had lost their season opener 1-0 at home against Tottenham the previous weekend, took the lead in the first half against Stoke but allowed their opponents the opportunities in the box to hit back with a quickfire double after the break.

Holloway was disappointed with his team's defending for the two goals they conceded, but did make reference to the strength of the squad Stoke, who are in their sixth successive top-flight season, have.

"For a large period after we scored, I thought we were the better team, but in the end, normally the result tells you something," Holloway said.

"If you look at their (Stoke's) bench and their squad, and how long that has taken to get together with the number of years they have been at this level, I think it also shows something.

"But we are where we are and we have to get on with it.

"I'm not happy with our defending, so let's get solid and try to keep a clean sheet and then we might only need to nick one.

"We did score our first goal, and it was an away goal.

"We previously stopped a potential massacre against Tottenham with a good performance, and I thought we had grown from that (against Stoke), but unfortunately scoring one wasn't enough."

Several summer signings are among the players who could come into the Palace team to face City, such as goalkeeper Neil Alexander, defender Florian Marange and midfielder Elliot Grandin.

Whether or not another, winger Jerome Thomas, is fit to feature having missed Palace's two games so far through injury remains to be seen.

Holloway has the likes of Glenn Murray and Yannick Bolasie ruled out of action at the moment.

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