Where have all goals gone? Holloway rues lack of strength in depth

Holloway: Crystal Palace goal drought is an issue of strength

New man: Jacob Butterfield could not inspire Palace to victory over Bolton Wanderers SP72943

Future in doubt: Wilfried Zaha looks likely to join Premier League leaders Manchester United - with a possible option to be loaned back to Palace until the summer SP72943

First published in Sport
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Streatham Guardian: Photograph of the Author by , Sports Editor

As the goals dry up, Crystal Palace boss Ian Holloway has bemoaned the Eagles’ lack of strength in depth.

In November, Palace scored 13 goals in six Championship games, and in December the record stood at 11 in six games.

However, since the 3-1 win over Wolves on New Year’s Day, the goals have dried up to just one penalty in four games – albeit two of those games were against Premier League opposition in the FA Cup.

But in Saturday’s 0-0 draw with Bolton Wanderers at Selhurst Park, Palace were guilty of missing some gilt-edged chances, with Glenn Murray and Andre Moritz the most guilty.

Holloway’s cause will not be made any easier following news Palace have agreed a deal to sell Wilfried Zaha to Manchester United.

Although a reported £10m upfront from a possible £15m  deal, will certainly help fund a replacement should the 20-year-old not be loaned straight back to the Eagles for the rest of the campaign.

But Holloway maintains his side has enough to be challenging for promotion – as things stand – come the end of the season, although more experience would not go amiss.

“You do not have to be a genius to see the lack of strength in depth we have,” he said.

“We’re being tested right now, with Owen Garvan injured for up to three months, and Kagisho Dikgacoi having gone off to that awful forsaken competition in Africa at the craziest time.

“Saturday was one of those days, but if that is the best that Bolton have got, I think we’re looking alright.

“It is just about adding a few more goals to that overall group.

“Normally, I stack my rack with strikers. Alex Nimely is a new one, but he is only young, and I do want to bring in some more experience.”

Cardiff City opened a 10-point gap at the top of the Championship after a 2-1 win at Blackpool.

Holloway said: “They are the perennial failures, but they have bought Fraizer Campbell, have got Craig Bellamy and Heidar Helguson, and are really going for promotion this time round.”

He added: “But we’re in that top pack and we have a chance of being a really good club and that pleases me.”

Saturday saw a full debut for Jacob Butterfield after the midfielder’s loan move from Norwich City, and Holloway was full of praise for the 22-year-old.

He said: “He settled in very well, and is a great passer of the ball. The fact that someone of his quality wanted to come to us says a lot about where we are.”

Palace travel to Huddersfield on January 30.

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