Ollie suitably impresed by Millwall's response to late Blackburn setback

Picture by Edmund Boyden

Picture by Edmund Boyden

First published in Sport
Last updated
News Shopper: Photograph of the Author by , sports editor

Ian Holloway is delighted with the way Millwall’s players have responded since suffering late heartbreak against Blackburn Rovers just under a fortnight ago.

The Lions were leading 2-1 at The Den in their meeting with the Lancashire side in stoppage time and looked to be on their way to a vital three points.

However, up popped Josh King at the death to deny Millwall victory, leaving only the most optimistic of Lions fans to feel they could still beat the drop.

But back-to-back wins on the road at Nottingham Forest and Wigan have given Holloway’s side a fighting chance, one they will be looking to strengthen this weekend when Watford visit SE16.

“I hope one thing, I think how bad everybody felt at the end of the Blackburn game when we let that late equaliser in to 10-men, I think a lot of people had us down then,” the manager said.

“The lads felt that at the time it happened that was two big points dropped, but for me that is seven points out of the last nine when you need points.

“You have to end up being very proud of yourself when the pressure comes on that you can still do your job, you can still focus on what your job is and managed to do it. That breeds confidence.

“I think the lads have shown the fans that they really want to be at Millwall, to play for Millwall and be very proud of that badge and what it means.

“As long as our fans see that on the pitch I need them to also believe that we are going to be a good club, we are going to be a good team and we can play really good football.

“It was coming but the results we didn’t get on the back of that.”

And Holloway pinpoints Millwall’s sudden welcome upturn in fortunes down to their current ability to retain possession.

He explained: “The more we gave the opposition the ball, the more goals we were letting in so what I want to do is have the ball a lot more.

“We’ve talked about it, the lads were doing it really well and now we need to continue that because we look a much more confident compact team when we do that.

“That’s what I’m asking the lads to do and they’ve done it brilliantly in the last two games.

“I think we can continue that with the confidence we’ve got.

“One blip or two blips isn’t going to stop me getting these lads to do what I think football of the future is about, which is having the lion’s share of possession if we possibly can.

“But it is very difficult to do when you are running out of games and you need a result but full credit to the lads.

“I want the fans to understand that is what we are trying to do and I believe it will gain all sorts of things for us which will bring us the points that we need.

“The lads are enjoying themselves, it speaks volumes for them to do that and hopefully we’ve got five games to climb back up.”

Tuesday’s success at the DW Stadium lifted Millwall up to 39 points with five games to play.

That still leaves them in the relegation zone but with Blackpool, Doncaster and Birmingham all losing, the Lions are suddenly breathing down the necks of a few anxious clubs.

Holloway said: “What we’ve got to do is make sure all those people who thought they were safe a couple of weeks ago aren’t anymore.

“We haven’t done it yet and I think we need at least four more wins before I will be pleased.

“I’m very pleased for the lads because their work has been continuing to improve and I think we’ve got some rewards for it in the last two games.

“We haven’t got what we deserved before but I want them to not feel sorry for themselves, keep going and make everybody believe we can be a Championship side and we can be a good one.

“It is alright talking about it, we’ve just got to produce it - and the teams we’ve just done it against, you can’t argue with.

“Even Blackburn Rovers have won their last two games after we drew with them at home, so they aren’t a bad side.

“I just need people believing we can get a run together because every team has had a run apart from us, so it is going to be our time.”

Follow us on Twitter @NewsShopperSprt for live updates from Millwall v Watford on Saturday

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