OLLIE GOES ON THE WARPATH
C PALACE ........0 BARNSLEY........0
IAN HOLLOWAY waded into a shouting match in the Crystal Palace changing room after his side blew their automatic promotion hopes.
The Eagles are now eight points off second-placed Hull after their winless streak was stretched to five matches following a goalless draw with struggling Barnsley, who had to wear Palace’s away kit after referee Keith Stroud deemed their home kit to be too similar to that of their hosts.
And Palace boss Holloway revealed he was forced to tell his players to calm down as they boiled over with frustration after being held at Selhurst Park.
“I’m disappointed for the lads, they’ve had a big ruck in the dressing room because they wanted to win it,” he said, “You can’t want things too much. If you do, then they crawl away from you.
“I had a right go at them and told them that they have to stick together.
“You can’t want things too much.
“You see it with all sorts of people. You see it with tennis players when they call it ‘tensing up’ or whatever it is.
“There’s a bit of disappointment growing because of the expectation but that’s life, you need to get on with it. All we’ve got to do is get some rhythm back and score some goals again. I thought this was much better and was more like us.
“We were more fluid but, unfortunately, the goals that we need are eluding us at the moment.”
The Tykes faced playing the game in their black training tops until it was decided that the visitors would wear Palace’s yellow away strip – a move which left home kit man Brian Rogers facing a race against time.
Rogers was forced to head to the club shop and make up 16 shirts with the names and numbers of Barnsley’s play- ers and only just managed to finish the task ahead of kick off.
“There was a bit of a standoff before the game,” said Barnsley boss David Flitcroft.
"I didn’t want my team to not have the Barnsley badge. It’s important to us.
“The referee asked us to wear our warm-up tops, which I didn’t think was right, so we decided to go with the Palace tops. I think it was the right decision. I’ve no idea where we got them from.”
The kit confusion appeared to have little effect on Barnsley, who produced a resilient performance to claim a precious point in their battle against the drop.
While Palace dominated for much of the contest, the home side failed to find a way past keeper Luke Steele, who produced two or three stunning saves.
Andre Moritz's 17th minute free-kick brought out a fine stop from Steele, while Glenn Murray was also denied by the keeper after running clear through on goal. Palace continued to push forward after the break and substitute Aaron Wilbraham wasted two late chances as the visitors held on.
And Barnsley boss Flitcroft praised the leaders in his side.
“There’s been a lot of pressure on the club but I’ve always maintained we can’t fear the top teams,” added Flitcroft.
“There is anxiety coming to these sort of clubs. It takes courage, guts and resilience to be successful.
“Stephen Foster and Bobby Hassell have a good understanding together and a lot of experience.
“Having two experience heads in there definitely helped us when they were raining in crosses and raining in shots. It is important down the centre of pitch that you have leaders.”
LETTING FLY: Wilfried Zaha gets a shot in ahead of Tom Kennedy
TUMBLING: Barnsley’s Kelvin Etuhu tangles with Crystal Palace’s Jonathan Williams