- Birthplace: Kingswood, England
- Previous Clubs: Bristol Rovers, Queens Park Rangers, Plymouth Argyle, Leicester City, Blackpool
- Honours: Third Division champions: 1990, Championship play-off winners: 2009-10, 2012-13
2013/14 English Premier League Record
With a unique style of management that has made him one of the most quotable bosses in the English game, Holloway's return to the Premier League with Crystal Palace has left the media rubbing their hands together with glee.
As a player, he was a midfielder who began at hometown club Bristol Rovers in 1981, before going on to play for Wimbledon, Brentford, Torquay United (on loan) and Queens Park Rangers. He played for Rovers three times during his career, but when hanging up his boots in 1999, he became player-manager.
He stayed in Bristol for four years before retiring from the playing game in 1999-2000 and narrowly missed out on play-off success twice before moving on to QPR. However, his time with Rangers did not start well and he was relegated in his first season. Forced to rebuild the squad, it was not until 2004 that he managed to seal progress back to the Championship again, but after keeping the side in the division he was placed on 'gardening leave' as rumours of a move to Leicester filled the papers.
As it turned out, Holloway missed out on the Leicester job and joined Plymouth Argyle. In his only full season at Home Park, 2006-07, he guided Argyle to 11th in the Championship - one of the club's best-ever finishing positions - but he eventually did get the Leicester job in November 2007, leaving his native South West against a backdrop of much negativity from Plymouth and their fans, who felt he forced a move and abandoned them.
He became the first Leicester manager in more than 50 years to win his first league game in charge, beating Bristol City 2-0, but the success didn't last and he won just nine out of 32 games. The club were relegated from the Championship in May 2008 and he was then relieved of his duties. Holloway has since admitted it was the first time he had doubted his ability to motivate players.
Taking a year out of the game, Holloway's next role was at Blackpool. The club were among the favourites for relegation from the Championship in 2009-10, but the new boss impressed immediately and led them to the play-offs - where they shocked Cardiff in the final 3-2, to seal their progress to the Premier League in his first season at the helm. During the promotion season, he once bought 22 teddy bears on sale for charity, and used them to show his players tactics in the team hotel before a game against Derby.
Blackpool spent just one season in the top-flight but won many admirers for the fearless attacking football they played under Holloway. A 4-0 victory over Wigan put them temporarily top of the league on the opening day of the season but they finished 19th, a 3-2 defeat to champions Manchester United on the final day seeing them relegated. Holloway almost masterminded an immediate return but Blackpool suffered a heartbreaking last-gasp defeat to West Ham in the 2011-12 play-off final.
When Crystal Palace came calling in November 2012, Holloway moved into his sixth managerial position and after falling short of automatic promotion following an abysmal end-of-season run, he reinvigorated his players and oversaw victory over rivals Brighton in the play-off semi-finals, before an extra-time penalty from Kevin Phillips - whom he had signed for the second time - saw the Eagles beat Watford to clinch a spot in the Premier League. In doing so Holloway became the fourth manager to win two play-off finals after Bruce Rioch, Steve Coppell and Sam Allardyce.
Strengths: A great man-manager and motivator, Holloway takes the spotlight away from his players with his own unique personality. He is a media magnet. Has proved adept at maximising results on a budget.
Weaknesses: Being an emotional character, his temperament sometimes gets the better of him and he has also struggled when expectations of his team are greater.
Career high: Taking Blackpool from Championship relegation fodder to the Premier League inside 13 months.
Career low: Leaving Plymouth Argyle to take the job at Leicester in 2007. He has described it as ''the biggest mistake of my life''.
Tactics: Has leaned towards 4-3-3 for most of his career and changed Palace's wing-based approach to a more compact midfield style after arriving at Selhurst Park. His teams are recognised as playing attractive attacking football.
Quotes: ''To put it in gentleman's terms if you've been out for a night and you're looking for a young lady and you pull one, some weeks they're good looking and some weeks they're not the best. Our performance today would have been not the best looking bird but at least we got her in the taxi. She wasn't the best looking lady we ended up taking home but she was very pleasant and very nice, so thanks very much, let's have a coffee". One of Ian Holloway's many quotes.
Trivia: Holloway got help from a BBC documentary called Stress Test over the fits of rage that were disrupting his home life.
Crystal Palace Squad
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