Millwall defender's training ground outburst galvanises squad

News Shopper: Picture by Keith Gillard Picture by Keith Gillard

Millwall defender Alan Dunne has revealed how he spoke out during a training ground barney to galvanise the struggling squad.

The incident took place before the Lions visited Nottingham Forest and after Dunne made an emotional plea to his team-mates, manager Ian Holloway made the 31-year-old captain.

That leadership appointment has coincided in an upturn in results, the most recent point in that run coming thanks to Martyn Woolford’s last-gasp equaliser rescuing a 2-2 draw at home to Watford on Saturday.

Dunne came through the ranks at The Den and numerous managers prior to Holloway have ousted the defender from the line-up.

But the Millwall stalwart has fought back and returned to the side each time – on this occasion reinventing himself as a centre-half.

And Dunne reckons the squad needed a reality check in order to survive in the Championship.

The long-serving Lion said: “The game before the Forest game there was a bit of a bust-up in training.

“We had a row in the changing room, reserves playing the first team, and a few words were spoken and I spoke up and said what I felt, what I felt about individuals and about players.

“I got emotional and it showed that I cared.

“In desperate times it was needed to be said.

“I wasn’t criticising any specific individual, it was just something on my chest that I wanted to get off and say ‘Look, we’ve got five or six games left here, I’ll be here next year, let’s make sure everyone else will fight to keep us in this division’.

“It was along them lines but obviously with a few swear words thrown in.”

He added: “I think the it can only come so much from the manager and sometimes it needs to be one of the players.

“Being here so long it needed something and one of the players to step up and say how they felt to the other players to see it and so far we’ve had three good results.

“Something’s changed and something’s clicked.”

Dunne has certainly made an impact at centre-half and hailed boss Holloway for having faith in him.

The experienced defender said: “The manager decided to put me at centre-half that Saturday and make a change, and put me as captain.

“I’ve been captain before, I normally get sent off when I'm captain. This time I haven’t.”

Dunne added: “He showed a lot of trust in me and he feels I can offer something in the back four, especially centre-half because of my passing and because of my speed.

“I’ll play anywhere but it’s nice to get some games.

“It’s nice, it shows that trust in me because there’s always been a lot of right-backs coming in and out of this club.

“He’s shown some faith and I think I’ve done well there.”

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