Holloway adds Spanish lessons to his growing to do list
10:27am Tuesday 27th August 2013 in Sport
Language barrier: Jose Campana is a hit with his team-mates despite barely speaking English. Pictures: Stoke Sentinel
by Andrew McSteen
Not only is Ian Holloway preparing for two football matches and scouring Europe for new signings this week, but he is also trying his hand at learning Spanish.
The Crystal Palace manager is adamant he will be bringing more players to SE25 before the close of the transfer window on Monday night after two defeats in two Premier League games so far this season.
On Saturday at Stoke, where Palace lost 2-1, Holloway started four of his summer signings, Dwight Gayle, Marouane Chamakh, Jason Puncheon and Jose Campana - with the latter making his debut following his move from Sevilla.
Campana, the Spain U20 captain, was handed the free-kick duties and Holloway was happy with how the 20-year-old has gelled with his team-mates, even if it means he has to take a few Spanish lessons.
"The players really, really like him," said Holloway.
"It’s strange as he doesn’t speak hardly any English so I’m going to have to learn a little bit of Spanish to help him through.
"But the group really like him and I think our fans have already taken to him."
Chamakh made his first start and ended up being Palace’s hero and villain, scoring their first Premier League goal of the season, but making two poor attempts at a clearance that led to Stoke's winner.
"He did his best to get there," said Holloway.
"He tried to toe-punt it out and there was nothing wrong with his challenge for the goal, but where were my defenders?
"I’ll have a look at them and show them where they should have been.
"His goal was very pleasing and I know he can score goals.
"He proved he wanted to be here and I thank him for coming - I think he’s a fantastic boy.
"He strikes me as someone who could have sat there and picked his money up and waited at Arsenal and blamed everybody else but he wants to come and play for me. That’s the first time I picked him to start and he scored.
"He gave me everything and I probably should have bought him off earlier but that’s going to be vital for us to believe we can score."
Away from the pitch, Holloway and co-chairman Steve Parish are facing a difficult week as they balance dealing with transfers with managing games at Bristol City in the Capital One Cup tonight and at home to Sunderland in the Premier League on Saturday.
"I should be locked in a room with my chairman and getting some more signings in but that’s just the way it is," said Holloway.
"Absolute manic it is - completely and utterly crazy. I need to get more people to help by the end of this week before the window slams shut in your face so I’ve got a bit to do to help the boys.
"It’s about getting some points in this division. We’ve got to do that quickly otherwise the pressure builds and builds and builds.
"But we don’t make excuses at Crystal Palace, we just get on with the best we can and I want to prove that that’s what I am all about."
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