Ian Holloway: Crystal Palace are 'on a hiding to nothing'

 

Ian Holloway says newly promoted Crystal Palace are "on a hiding to nothing" in the Premier League next season.

Kevin Phillips scored from the penalty spot in extra time as Palace claimed a 1-0 victory against Watford in the play-off final at Wembley on Monday.

"It all starts now for me because the minute we kick off next season we're on a hiding to nothing," said Holloway.

"We've got to make sure we can compete and I want to stay there."

Play-off final specialists

Crystal Palace have appeared in five Championship play-off finals, winning four of them

Holloway added he would have to "scratch my head and wonder 'just how are we going to stay in the Premier League?'"

Speaking before the Championship decider, Holloway stated that Palace could look to build a new ground with the £120m windfall  generated by going up.

After going into administration in 2010 following years of financial problems, the increased revenue will provide a sizeable turnaround for the club's fortunes.

However, Holloway hinted he will not be overhauling his playing squad for the Eagles' Premier League challenge.

"How much you spend on your group isn't always what gives you [success]," said Holloway, who was promoted to the Premier League with Blackpool in 2010 but suffered relegation 12 months later.

"It's what's inside their hearts and how much they work for you. To me they're Palace heroes."

One of Holloway's star players, Wilfried Zaha, will now link up with Manchester United after signing for the Old Trafford club for £15m in January before being loaned back to Selhurst Park.

The 20-year-old, who made his full England debut against Sweden in November 2012, scored twice in Palace's play-off semi-final victory over Brighton before winning the decisive penalty in the final against Watford.

Holloway will be asking new United manager David Moyes if he can loan the winger for a second time, but believes that might prove difficult.

"I think he'd be silly to give me him back," Holloway said.

"Now we're up it might be realistic, but who knows? He [Moyes] will know the task he's got. Mine will be staying up, his will be winning every week. Good luck to him and good luck to us."

Palace promoted to Premier League

Zaha had been the game's outstanding player before he forced the crucial foul from Watford defender Marco Cassetti by using typical skill and trickery.

The youth product was thrilled to end his decade-long stay at Selhurst Park by earning promotion to the Premier League after an eight-year absence.

He told BBC Radio 5 live: "It is all I wanted. I have been at the club for 10 years. I have nothing but love for the club.

"Going to Manchester United is good for me but I had to stay at Palace and get the job done. I was too nervous at first but after (that), I thought it was just a game. I played how I know."

Holloway took veteran striker Phillips with him when he joined the club from Blackpool in November, and the 39-year-old showed all his experience on Monday to hammer home from 12 yards.

"It was magnificent to score the winning goal," the former England international said. "I have experienced three losses in this game [play-off finals], so it was great to win.

"This promotion, with the money in the Premier League, means everything. The club can build to the future with some good young talent.

"This club can go from strength to strength. I do not know if I will carry on."