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It is down to Millwall now to guarantee Championship safety
Updated 1:57pm Wednesday 30th April 2014 in Sport
Millwall columnist AYSE SMITH knows what is needed if the Lions are to stay up – three points against Bournemouth on Saturday.
What a difference a couple of weeks can make.
Everything seems to be coming together and the lads are starting to play the way Ian Holloway wants them to – it’s just a shame that it is so late in the season, really.
Stefan Maierhofer and Carlos Edwards have made more of an impact since joining the Lions than any other players who have come in.
It’s a shame we didn’t get them a little earlier, but I really hope we keep them in the summer, even if they only get a six month contract to prove themselves, as we all know what landing a long contract seems to do to a player.
Saturday at QPR was a good day for the Lions, the day that only two weeks ago many of us feared would be the one we were relegated for sure.
But it turned into a massive celebration two minutes into injury time when we levelled to bring home a point.
We are now in 20th position, the best place we’ve been in since November 23 when we beat Barnsley 1-0 and went up to 18th spot before soon coming back down to 21st and staying there.
This Saturday against Bournemouth is now our only chance to get out of this mess.
With Tuesday’s results partially going our way thanks to Birmingham losing, we need a win on Saturday to make sure we stay in the Championship and can have another local derby with Charlton next year after they scrapped out of the relegation battle.
We really can’t rely other teams to fluff it up like we have been all season.
Bournemouth were looking dangerous until last week as they were hovering just below the play-offs, but now have nothing to play for but pride, so I’m hoping they have already gone into holiday mode and are far too busy dreaming of Pina Coladas on the beach rather than playing at The Den.
Lewis Grabban returns to The Den but with Bournemouth this time as their top scorer, although he wasn’t much good at Millwall when he was Jimmy Abdou’s room-mate and followed him around like a little lost puppy.
He became a very unpopular player when he accused us fans of directing a racist comment at him when we were away at Hereford a few years ago when in fact it came from a load of squaddies in the Hereford end.
Grabban left - and good riddance I say - but he’s very crafty and I can see him trying to get some of our players sent off on Saturday, especially Dunney.
Whatever happens, and whatever league we end up in by 2pm on Saturday, one thing is for sure there will be a massive clearout during the summer and Ollie will be able to build the team he actually wants rather than deal with Steve Lomas’ leftovers.
He’s brought in a few who he wants already and has been very harsh on some players - and not hard enough on others.
Josh Wright and Jack Smith have been made to train with the U21s, something I think is very hard for any professional to put up with, especially someone of Smith's experience.
Yet he has continued to play his favourite little buddies like Simeon Jackson on no merit at all.
Well, I suppose that’s what a manager does really, isn’t it?
He plays the players he likes and most managers like the better players.
Unfortunately for Holloway, his haven’t been the best choices until about four weeks ago when he started to take advice from others at the club who have been there a lot longer and know better.
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