Promoted to the Barclays Premier League via the Championship play-offs, Sunday's home clash with Swansea was the kind of game the Eagles need to be winning to avoid relegation.
But, despite it being their third match in six days, Michael Laudrup's side dominated from the outset and should have won by a much larger scoreline than 2-0.
Holloway shouldered the lion's share of the blame after being forced to watch from the stands due to a touchline ban, although he made sure his disappointment was known to his new players.
"With my Blackpool team and the Palace team I have inherited, you have to get the blend of what you do without it and what you do with it," said Holloway, who signed 15 players over the summer.
"At this level, how good were they (Swansea) when they had it, what was their structure when they didn't and how good was it?
"We've got to put all of this together, sew it all together, and actually do it and get some points. We've got to do it so fast it is frightening.
"The new lads have just had a volley from me because if I had that Palace shirt on I would know what it would mean to me.
"I would have chased back, got back, known my job here and there. We've got a lot of work to do to make sure they've got that. That is the bare minimum here.
"You've got to learn and, unfortunately, the games are ticking. We'd have been 12th if we had won today, but that 'if' is massive, isn't it?
"Not in a million years had we stayed out there would we have beaten them with how it was.
"We've got to look at why, look at what we can do better and then take it into the next game."
Swansea counterpart Michael Laudrup's emotions could not have been more different to Holloway's after the game.
After drawing with Liverpool on Monday and demolishing Valencia 3-0 at the Mestalla less than 72 hours ago, the Dane's overriding emotion was pride.
"It has been a fantastic week," Laudrup said, having seen Michu and Nathan Dyer score the all-important goals in south London.
"Before the start, I thought this particularly would be the most difficult game because it was on the back of Liverpool and Valencia.
"This was the third game in only six days, with the travelling and all that. You have to play an away game here against a different type of football, more direct.
"I thought this was going to be the most difficult game, so I am really pleased with what the players did.
"It always helps when you score in the first minute, but even so you have to play over 90 minutes.
"I thought we really dominated the game from the first to the last second.
"The only thing is, we should have scored more goals because we had the chances to score five or six like we had on Thursday, but it is of course difficult not to be pleased when you win 3-0 and 2-0 in just three days."