Lions boss delighted with first half effort at Forest

News Shopper: Lee Martin (right) scored on his return to the first team at Forest. Picture by Edmund Boyden. Lee Martin (right) scored on his return to the first team at Forest. Picture by Edmund Boyden.

Ian Holloway has hailed Millwall’s first half performance as “terrific” after his side earned a vital 2-1 victory at Nottingham Forest.

The Lions went to the City Ground with only one win to their name in 13 games, but upset the proverbial apple cart with a 2-1 success.

First half goals from Scott Malone and Lee Martin set Millwall on their way to what was a vital three points in their bid for Championship survival, something Holloway feels Millwall can still achieve.

He said: “We worked them one side and switched to the other side and he got in.

“I think we were terrific first half.

“We got a little bit nervous second half I suppose with what’s been happening with us and what happened last week against Blackburn.

“I would say they were two good goals.

“We knew we could overload them down the outside and I think Scotty Malone’s goal, yes, it got a deflection, but that wasn’t luck.”

Lee Martin made a return to first team action for the first time since the last away day victory for Millwall against Forest’s rivals Derby on March 8, and Holloway was full of praise for the former Ipswich and Manchester United man.

“The second goal, Lee thoroughly deserved it,” the manager said.

“He has deserved better since I’ve been here.

“It’s nice to have him back and he looked a bit of a Rolls Royce today.

“I thought he was a fantastic considering how long he’s been back and how long he hasn’t scored for, we’re all delighted for him.

“It was a brilliant goal and it looked like him when he was at Manchester United to be honest, so hopefully he can come back and help the team get some goals.

“I’m pleased with everybody and there we go.

“We’re all living in the gutter but some of us are looking at the stars, you’ve got to keep believing.

“That’s done us the world of good. I thought we played really well.”

Holloway also revealed how a practice game led him to change the majority of his team for the weekends win against Forest.

The Den chief made an unprecedented seven changes from the team that drew with Blackburn the week before and Holloway explained why.

He said: “We worked on something yesterday and I had to totally change it.

“On Thursday everybody was nervous, everybody gave the ball away and on Friday when I picked the team, the team I didn’t pick beat the team I did pick 6-0.

“I wasn’t very happy, so I changed seven people in that team because I needed the confidence that that other team had.

“I took a risk, I’ve never done it before and I thought the lads handled it brilliantly.”

Ollie added: “They all took what I said really well and I think the confidence you could see by the way we knocked the ball around in the first half.

“I think any team I picked would have been as nervous as they were because of what’s been happening to us.

“If you had seen us on Thursday, I spoke about their shape as everybody kept giving the ball away but today we didn't do that.

“I thought we played really well in the second half.”

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