NEWS Shopper online’s new Millwall columnist AYSE SMITH makes her debut with a look at the positive impact already made at The Den by Ian Holloway.
FOLLOWING the excitement of Ian Holloway’s appointment, going to meet him at the training ground a couple of days before his first game in charge was a little nerve-racking.
You know what they say about meeting your idols and all that, I was hoping I wasn’t going to be disappointed.
If I am totally honest, yes I was a little disappointed.
He wasn’t the jovial jester I expected.
In fact, he was pretty serious and matter of fact, although he was flitting back and forth with the groundsman and had a meeting with the CEO to contend with, so maybe it wasn’t just me that brought out his serious side and he had other things on his mind.
But he is definitely the right man for the job.
If anyone can get this team, which has turned into a rabble since Steve Lomas took over in the summer, then it's him.
His first game in charge was always going to be a relief but an away match with unbelievably unfit players was going to be a tough call and bound to end in disappointment.
Of course, losing in the last minute of the game at Huddersfield wasn’t what we were expecting and it had taken the shine off things a little, but we were all still waiting with baited breath for his first home game in charge.
We were at home to Ipswich Town, a game which of course saw the return of ex-Millwall player and manager Mick McCarthy.
Tottenham youngster Ryan Fredericks had signed for us just the day before and he proved to be the hero of the game with a cross that flew straight into the net.
The need for a striker is even more apparent now that the rest of the team are playing better ... so many chances to score, but no one there to actually do it.
The football was possibly the best we’ve seen all season at The Den and the crowd were even better.
The Lions’ Roar had finally returned after what seemed like an eternity of huge defeats and woeful performances.
Holloway said in his press conference after the game: “I love this crowd. I love everything about this place.
“It really feels like I'm at home.
“I've never felt so wanted in my entire life.
“Not as a player, or as a manager.
“Kenny (Jackett) was here for five years and I want to be here for longer than that. I mean it.”
Well I can tell you Ollie, if you keep getting the team to put in performances like that, you are more than welcome to double Kenny’s reign.
With the team out in Portugal for an extreme fitness session for the week, things are pretty quiet, except for the signing of DJ Campbell on from Blackburn on Monday, a proven striker who works well under Holloway.
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