Holloway already looking ahead to summer after final day survival

Holloway already looking ahead to summer after final day survival

Lions manager Ian Holloway. Pictures by Edmund Boyden.

Carlos Edwards tries to get past Ryan Fraser

Stefan Maierhofer shoots wide

Steve Morison shoots off target

Scott Malone crosses

Owen Garvan plays the ball under pressure from Lee Camp

First published in Sport
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Ian Holloway is already thinking about evolving Millwall after guiding the club to Championship survival with their final day victory over Bournemouth.

News Shopper: Carlos Edwards tries to get past Ryan Fraser

Martyn Woolford’s solitary goal ensured the Lions ended the campaign eight matches unbeaten and four points above the relegation zone.

And Holloway, who has already prepared a list of improvements for the club’s board, is targeting change over the summer, though not necessarily a squad overhaul.

News Shopper: Stefan Maierhofer shoots wide

The boss said: “I am going to dissect what we have already got and what we are committed to.

“I will see where that leaves us with the fair play rules that are in, so the chairman might have to spend some money if he wants to make massive changes.

“I’m not so sure I do, though. I want to look at the way that some people have responded to what I want.

“Then it is always easier getting that core and getting it going.”

Holloway cited yesterday’s opponents as an example Millwall could follow in the future.

News Shopper: Steve Morison shoots off target

He said: “Normally it takes a long, long time to try and get the work in that Eddie Howe has done with Bournemouth and the way they play out from the back.

“They all know their jobs, so hopefully we can take this on and move the place forward.”

The Millwall boss was happy to enjoy the moment but hinted at a busy summer ahead once the celebrations are over.

He added: “I am thoroughly delighted and I don’t think I have ever felt like what I do now because we were definitely staring down the barrel.

“We have managed to come through and after a little bit of time off I’ll be on the phone left, right and centre.

“I have got a chief scout – thank God for that – because last year I didn’t have one when I got promoted and it nearly killed me.

News Shopper: Scott Malone crosses

“I can’t wait to build this place into what I believe it could be. I want to bring my ambitions as a manager to this football club.”

After a 2-2 draw with Blackburn at the end of March, Holloway targeted five wins from the Lions’ last seven games in order to secure survival.

Saturday’s result saw them make it four victories and, having beaten the drop, Holloway was quick to labels the club’s achievement as “ours” rather than “his”.

News Shopper: Owen Garvan plays the ball under pressure from Lee Camp

He said: “It is our achievement as a club - that is the only way to say it.

“Everybody has rallied, been honest and hard working.

“After the Birmingham and Blackburn games we could have just capitulated, but it is typical of this place that we dragged ourselves from the bootstraps.

“The players have been fantastic and Kenny Jackett was right - to see the people in this ground and the energy and noise that they generated, that is why I wanted to come here.”

Holloway added: “We are a long, long way off where we were.

“I am really pleased for every Millwall supporter and I am really proud because it could have gone either way.”

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