Claridge: I'm the right man for Millwall managerial vacancy

News Shopper: Former Lions striker Steve Claridge. PICTURE BY BRIAN TONKS. Former Lions striker Steve Claridge. PICTURE BY BRIAN TONKS.

STEVE Claridge has told News Shopper he is the right man to replace Steve Lomas as Millwall manager.

Lomas was dismissed yesterday evening after a turbulent six-month spell in charge at The Den which culminated in a disastrous 4-0 defeat at Watford, a result that leaves the Lions just three points above the dreaded drop zone.

But Claridge, who lasted just 36-days in the role during the summer of 2005, can’t wait for a second chance and is determined he will get the nod from chairman John Berylson.

“It certainly feels right from my perspective,” he said.

“I’ve never done anything by halves and I certainly wouldn’t start now.

“People know what I’m about, they know how I work.

“If I do it then I do it properly, otherwise I won’t do it. That’s one of the philosophies I have in life.

“I would bring discipline, organisation, a work ethic, an understanding of what is required.

“I’m the easiest man in the world to play for, all I’d ask is you just go and give me 100 percent and I’ll do the rest.

“I’ll do the organisation, the structure, the discipline, I’ll set you up properly.

“I’m massive on the tactical side of it so I’ll do that, that’s my problem.

“Players get a lot of criticism sometimes for a lack of passion.

“I don’t know an awful lot of players who lack passion, I know an awful lot of players who maybe lack belief though.

“There is a subtle difference between the two.”

It has been rumoured the Millwall dressing room has been unhappy for a while now even going back to the latter stages of Kenny Jackett’s reign, a problem which Lomas was ultimately unable to resolve.

But Claridge has complete confidence he is the man to iron out any disputes quickly and get everyone pulling in the right direction again.

He explained: “You always get the splits in the dressing room when things aren’t going right.

“What you have is experienced players there and you have to go and deal with those experienced players.

“I’ve been in plenty of dressing rooms.

“I’m a strong character and I’ve had to survive an awfully long time on my own.

“I deal with people and always have done in my life so rumours about splits in the dressing room doesn’t put me off in the slightest.

“If you do your job properly they will have no problems.”

When asked if Lomas should have been given more time, Claridge replied: “On a football level, possibly.

“They aren’t in the bottom three.

“This is one thing you have to understand about Millwall - they are very, very loyal people but when they turn it is difficult to get them back.

“Whatever people say they did give Steve a chance.

“They started the season appallingly but they went with him.

“It isn’t just about results at Millwall, it is getting the feeling that you get it as players.

“I’ve watched them five times this season, including the last two games, and it looked like they didn’t get what it meant.”

He added: “I’ve been at the club when they’ve been singing the manager’s name when they’ve been in the bottom three.

“I’ve played for a manager when we were top three and they couldn’t like him for love nor money.

“With me I think they see a bit of themselves.

“I’m someone who is reasonably down to earth, who is always going to give everything and who will never ever do anything other than the best for the football club.

“I’m from the same sort of area, Portsmouth.

“There’s a dock, it is working class, it is hard working class people, down to earth and passionate people.

“I spent the longest time in my career at Millwall believe it or not so I understand the intricacies of the football club and the ethos of the football club.

“That helps when you get it, there is a connection there. They are really good loyal people.”

Lomas invested heavily during the close season by adding some experienced faces at this level, although Claridge feels it is too simplistic to simply suggest Millwall are underachieving with the players at their disposal.

He explained: “If they had the same squad three years ago I’d have said yes, but there are obviously one or two areas of slight concern.

“I’m not sure the actual balance of the side might suit some of the players who have come in.

“Going in I would have a look and see but I’m not going to judge people based on reputations.

“Players change and reputations can change very quickly.

“Yes, they’ve got well known players but we didn’t have well known players when I was there.

“I’ve been to Leicester, Cambridge and plenty of places where they didn’t have well known players but they became well known players.

“When people talk about team spirit, the team spirit doesn’t come first, winning games comes first and then the team spirit comes with that.

“That’s another advantage I’ve got, I’ve got an integral knowledge of the players because I’ve watched the team for the last two or three years many, many times so I know the team and the players inside out.”

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Comments (1)

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2:42pm Sun 29 Dec 13

rojo174 says...

Well, you've certainly committed yourself Steve, and I would love to see you back. After what you have said you had better not flop it. Hope to see you soon.
Well, you've certainly committed yourself Steve, and I would love to see you back. After what you have said you had better not flop it. Hope to see you soon. rojo174

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