CRYSTAL Palace boss Ian Holloway admits he will have to learn how to get the best out of his side if he is to get them playing his style of football more regularly.
The Eagles have found victories hard to find in recent months but they made the perfect start against Middlesbrough on Saturday by taking the lead on nine minutes through top scorer Glenn Murray.
Peter Ramage added a second just after the break before Murray struck again in the 57th minute.
Faris Haroun pulled one back for the visitors with 10 minutes remaining, but there was still time for substitute Kevin Phillips to score his second goal in as many games from the bench and give Palace a vital three points against one of their promotion rivals.
But despite the positive result, the gaffer still had a few moans afterwards, particularly about the lacklustre display in the opening 45 minutes.
Holloway explained: “The first half, I was a bit disappointed.
“I thought we were playing too slowly in the first half, we didn’t move it well enough and I told the lads that they were boring me.
“It was almost as if we got the goal and then sat back and relaxed, but you have got to go for it in this league because anything can happen.
“The shape I want is there but I need them to do it a little bit quicker and sharper and with more determination and we didn’t have that in the first half.
“Yes, we could have been 3-0 up, but I have to set the standards and I’m not sure yet with this group how to get them going.
“I’m not sure yet whether I need to take my coat off and grab them and get them by the scruff of the neck, or be calm with them, so I’m not quite sure how to get what I want out of them yet but I want us to go out there with the energy that I’ve got.
“I want us to start games quickly.
“This lot seem to be like a slow burner in that they get better and better as the game goes on, but I want them to start the game as if they have a major problem they need to put right.”
The Palace manager revealed he was calm at half-time and it seemed to have the desired effect as his side romped to victory thanks to a stand out performance from Wilfried Zaha in front of watching England boss Roy Hodgson.
Holloway said: “I’m glad to say in the second half we did much better and got ourselves into a comfortable position.
“I thought Wilf and Jonny Williams were excellent and it was nice to have KG and Mile Jedinak back as well and I think we are getting stronger.
“Goodness gracious, Wilf’s choice of pass, his weight of pass, the times he used his full-back to get people in was exactly what I inherited when I first got here.
“It is as good as he has played for me and it is great to see in front of the England manager as well.
“He is literally as good as any chef I’ve seen, he roasts people. He roasted both of their full-backs today and they will be delighted to get home.
“We’ve got 14 games left, so let’s see what we can do.”
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