Holloway: We'll need to draw on the spirit of Muhammad Ali at Saints!

Daily Echo: Muhammad Ali Muhammad Ali

Manager Ian Holloway has challenged his Crystal Palace players to box clever just like Muhammad Ali when their battle for Barclays Premier League survival continues at Saints tomorrow.

The Eagles head to St Mary's on the back of a disappointing 2-0 home defeat by Swansea, where they never recovered from falling behind to a goal from Michu inside two minutes.

Despite his side having now lost four of the opening five matches on their return to the top flight since winning promotion via the play-offs, Holloway remains confident this new-look Palace squad will soon gel - and is determined to make them harder to beat while also capable of landing a knockout blow of their own.

"We will have to be slightly different away from home, but part of our game is drawing teams onto us and then knocking them out with a (sucker) punch," Holloway said.

"I don't think we are going to be a Sugar Ray Leonard, I think we are going to be more of a Muhammad Ali against Joe Frasier (rope-a-dope in the 1974 Rumble in the Jungle).

"I just want our lads to grow, and if we can give ourselves half a chance, then that will do.

"We are going to have to set our stall out and then look to counter-attack, maybe get a set-piece and hurt them, if we can get a goal, then away we go.

"It is more about staying in the games long enough when I can make those changes to try to go get the points - we have not had a draw yet, which is unbelievable if you think about the way we have played."

Southampton, who not so long ago were languishing in League One, picked up an impressive away win at previously unbeaten Liverpool last weekend as Mauricio Pochettino's side continue their own development back among the elite clubs of English football.

Holloway, though, is confident his men can rise to the challenge.

"We will have massive respect from Southampton, where they have come from and where they are going, with their new ground now, and with what they have spent this summer, they are really going to have a go," said Holloway, who can call on South African midfielder Kagisho Dikgacoi again after his one-match suspension for a red card at Manchester United, although defender Damien Delaney (ankle) is sidelined.

"They have some fantastic players, with great deliveries from dead balls and have Rickie Lambert who is the England striker at the moment, yes we have got to be aware of that, but we can also hurt them at the other end.

"Southampton will be a fantastic opportunity to go and play on a wonderful surface to see if we can learn from the last game."

Holloway continued: "I am totally convinced our attitude and the way we are going to work hard for each other and what we have learned from last week, that we can take all of that into this next game.

"We have got to be right at it and on our game, but we are trying to gel this lot together and learn from our mistakes.

"As long as you improve and move forwards and don't go backwards on your belief, that is all you can ask from the players."

Comments (11)

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2:21pm Fri 27 Sep 13

Alicesdad says...

What a load of absolute tripe. I have a lot of time for Holloway, he makes me laugh and I can imagine him making a good comment or two using such comparisons, but how this managed to become a story with a picture is beyond me.

Alicescat is busy looking at the odds for a Saints win tomorrow ... after getting 5-1 to beat Liverpool he has found only a meagre 9-4 against Palace .. maybe we should bet on who gets the first throw in .. then we could get a quote from MLT on why this could be a bad idea and then the whole thing would be front page news.

Go cat go, you're the hottest thing in print today.
What a load of absolute tripe. I have a lot of time for Holloway, he makes me laugh and I can imagine him making a good comment or two using such comparisons, but how this managed to become a story with a picture is beyond me. Alicescat is busy looking at the odds for a Saints win tomorrow ... after getting 5-1 to beat Liverpool he has found only a meagre 9-4 against Palace .. maybe we should bet on who gets the first throw in .. then we could get a quote from MLT on why this could be a bad idea and then the whole thing would be front page news. Go cat go, you're the hottest thing in print today. Alicesdad

4:32pm Fri 27 Sep 13

costa gaz says...

Psssst..... Ian, the Rumble in the the Jungle was George Foreman v. Ali , not Frasier.

And if you think that Palace will be like Muhammed Ali and us like the slow sluggish Foreman or Frasier.. you will be in for a shock.
Psssst..... Ian, the Rumble in the the Jungle was George Foreman v. Ali , not Frasier. And if you think that Palace will be like Muhammed Ali and us like the slow sluggish Foreman or Frasier.. you will be in for a shock. costa gaz

4:43pm Fri 27 Sep 13

costa gaz says...

Alicesdad wrote:
What a load of absolute tripe. I have a lot of time for Holloway, he makes me laugh and I can imagine him making a good comment or two using such comparisons, but how this managed to become a story with a picture is beyond me.

Alicescat is busy looking at the odds for a Saints win tomorrow ... after getting 5-1 to beat Liverpool he has found only a meagre 9-4 against Palace .. maybe we should bet on who gets the first throw in .. then we could get a quote from MLT on why this could be a bad idea and then the whole thing would be front page news.

Go cat go, you're the hottest thing in print today.
If you are getting 9/4, put your house on it. Cant get better than 1/2
[quote][p][bold]Alicesdad[/bold] wrote: What a load of absolute tripe. I have a lot of time for Holloway, he makes me laugh and I can imagine him making a good comment or two using such comparisons, but how this managed to become a story with a picture is beyond me. Alicescat is busy looking at the odds for a Saints win tomorrow ... after getting 5-1 to beat Liverpool he has found only a meagre 9-4 against Palace .. maybe we should bet on who gets the first throw in .. then we could get a quote from MLT on why this could be a bad idea and then the whole thing would be front page news. Go cat go, you're the hottest thing in print today.[/p][/quote]If you are getting 9/4, put your house on it. Cant get better than 1/2 costa gaz

5:59pm Fri 27 Sep 13

RalphM says...

Well if Crystal Palace need to think and play like Muhammed Ali to having a chance of beating us fair enough! I agree with him.
Well if Crystal Palace need to think and play like Muhammed Ali to having a chance of beating us fair enough! I agree with him. RalphM

7:52pm Fri 27 Sep 13

OSPREYSAINT says...

Fly like a Bumble Bee and sting like a flea?
Fly like a Bumble Bee and sting like a flea? OSPREYSAINT

8:15pm Fri 27 Sep 13

White and red till dead says...

OSPREYSAINT wrote:
Fly like a Bumble Bee and sting like a flea?
Is now more like "Sting like a butterfly, dance like a bee"...
[quote][p][bold]OSPREYSAINT[/bold] wrote: Fly like a Bumble Bee and sting like a flea?[/p][/quote]Is now more like "Sting like a butterfly, dance like a bee"... White and red till dead

2:31am Sat 28 Sep 13

DisplacedFan says...

Ali was also quoted as saying, " the fight is won our lost far away from witnesses - behind the lines, in the gym and out there on the road, long before I dance under those lights". Saints have preparation and will sting like a bee.
Ali was also quoted as saying, " the fight is won our lost far away from witnesses - behind the lines, in the gym and out there on the road, long before I dance under those lights". Saints have preparation and will sting like a bee. DisplacedFan

6:50am Sat 28 Sep 13

aldermoorboy says...

Don't under estimate any team in this league, a win will not be easy, it will only happen if we give 100% and play very well and maybe have a bit of luck.
Don't under estimate any team in this league, a win will not be easy, it will only happen if we give 100% and play very well and maybe have a bit of luck. aldermoorboy

9:26am Sat 28 Sep 13

Costa Baz says...

I just hope Palace defend as badly today, as they did last week against Swansea.
So much space to work in would be the best chance we will have of scoring from open please, this season.

Having beaten the Robins, we must now beat the Eagles then prepare to beat the Swans next week.

Come on the bird beaters! Or does that sound sexist?
I just hope Palace defend as badly today, as they did last week against Swansea. So much space to work in would be the best chance we will have of scoring from open please, this season. Having beaten the Robins, we must now beat the Eagles then prepare to beat the Swans next week. Come on the bird beaters! Or does that sound sexist? Costa Baz

11:50am Sat 28 Sep 13

SFCOLDBOY says...

I just hope they don't park the bus as West borm and West Hoof have already done this season
.Both of those games have been bl00dy frustrating cos the Saints just hadn't worked out how to beat those negative teams.
I realy hope that they have been practicing to get our full backs behind theirs.
This is the only way we can beat these types of teams.
Trying to work through the middle is just like playing in a road block.
Come on Saints give us an early goal and the big score we have been all waiting a long time for.
I just hope they don't park the bus as West borm and West Hoof have already done this season .Both of those games have been bl00dy frustrating cos the Saints just hadn't worked out how to beat those negative teams. I realy hope that they have been practicing to get our full backs behind theirs. This is the only way we can beat these types of teams. Trying to work through the middle is just like playing in a road block. Come on Saints give us an early goal and the big score we have been all waiting a long time for. SFCOLDBOY

12:55pm Sat 28 Sep 13

Sally Hamilton Original says...

So he is going to defend a point then!... Brilliant ambitious tactics
So he is going to defend a point then!... Brilliant ambitious tactics Sally Hamilton Original

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