Millwall manager Ian Holloway has taken solace in his young lions’ narrow defeat to against Premier League Southampton.
The Lions bowed out of the Capital One Cup in the second round after going down by two goals to nil against a strong Saints outfit with boss Ronald Koeman only making two changes from their weekend draw with West Bromwich Albion.
There were no less than eight academy prospects in the Lions squad and boss Holloway was determined to take the positives out of a spirited display, and praised 20-year-old midfielder Jack Powell, who was making his full Lions debut.
“We play a different team and a different formation and it nearly worked,” Holloway said.
“We got a round of applause from the fans at the end.
“We wanted to try and win and the first-half showed a lot of promise. Jack Powell did really well.
“Powell’s passing range is fantastic. I’m glad I put him in. It’s great for Chaplow, Hoyte and Webster to play too.”
“The lads know I believe in them and believe in a way of playing. We have to create a few more chances.”
He added: “We’ve brought a few more of the younger players on from the bench and they have been impressing me.
“We’re trying to teach them to play football in the right way; moving the ball around the pitch, keeping possession and scoring goals.
“I’m excited to coach these young English players and help make them into Premier League players with Millwall.”
Holloway admitted his disappointed at being knocked out of the League cup, despite declaring himself pleased with features of the Lions’ play.
Rotherham United ended Millwall’s unbeaten start to the new season, and defeat to Southampton was a second consecutive defeat, and Holloway wants to arrest any slump that could manifest itself before the Lions have a two-week break ahead of the International fixtures.
“I feel absolutely gutted. I really enjoyed the first half. When I saw their team sheet, I thought ‘oh my god, what have I done’.”
“Let’s be honest, they’re a Premier League side but it didn’t feel like that. I’m a bit disappointed because we’ve lost again.”
“Saturday is our bread and butter. I want ten points out of 15.”