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Exclusive: Berylson backs Lomas to win over Millwall fans

© Kieran Galvin
© Kieran Galvin

CHAIRMAN John Berylson is adamant Millwall supporters will grow to love new manager Steve Lomas – despite his close affinity with bitter rivals West Ham.

Lomas, who spent eight years with the Hammers as a player, has been appointed as Kenny Jackett's successor on a 12-month rolling contract following a month-long search.

And Berylson is confident that Lions fans with mixed feelings about the appointment will overcome their initial scepticism – and see the ex-St Johnstone boss as one of their own.

"I'm thrilled to have Steve," he said. "I couldn't care less about the West Ham connection – I think he's the right man for the job and a Millwall type, regardless of who he played for.

"He's going to be great with the fans and he will win any doubters over. They ought to give him a chance because he wants everything they do. His passion and enthusiasm really stood out – he really, really wanted this job in particular."

A small minority of fans have threatened to stop attending games with Lomas in charge. But Berylson said: "Go right ahead. That's stupid. That doesn't say much about being a fan.

"Where he played is irrelevant. It is irrelevant. What matters now is Millwall. If anything I imagine West Ham fans will think less of him for coming here – isn't that a positive?

"He's thick-skinned and he wants to succeed here."

Lomas was the board's unanimous choice to fill the vacant hotseat and Berylson says the 39-year-old demonstrated a number of qualities that distinguished him from other candidates.

"Steve communicates well and I like his attitude," Berylson said. "He comes with extremely good recommendations having worked wonders with a small budget at St Johnstone.

"I knew what I was looking for – I didn't want someone who was massively intellectual about tactics or who focused too much on diagrams. I just don't think that would have worked. I wanted a manager not a coach.

"Steve has a great feel for the game because he's played it. He is very intuitive and reacts quickly to problems on the pitch – he'll take risks to try to win games with substitutions.

"He won't hesitate to change things. I don't know Steve that well yet but I think we are going to be able to communicate very well.  He'll be very influential in the dressing room and I expect he'll be very successful. I hope he's here for a long time."

The process of strengthening Millwall's squad will begin in earnest – and Berylson will afford Lomas the same financial backing as he did his predecessor Jackett.

Berylson said: "Steve has identified the people he'd like to sign for us. I like his ideas.

"I don't believe the board got enough credit for the way we backed Kenny in terms of the payroll. The fact is, he had a bigger wage budget in the second half of last season than he'd ever had before.

"That will all be available to Steve. I know what we need – more goals – but that is for him to fix. He's got to get that done. I think if we have the right combination of staff around him it's going to be very exciting.

"Steve is going to bring in some players and we will enable him to do that. I expect a much better team this season."

Alex Aldridge

(@accordingtoaldo)

52 thoughts on “Exclusive: Berylson backs Lomas to win over Millwall fans

  • June 6, 2013 at 20:22
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    People who call for Berylson to leave are deluded. Find someone who is willing to lose MILLIONS every single year. Took a month to find Lomas, must of been incredible during the interviews to be given a chance. has the passion and fight we lost under KJ. Ain't scared to bark orders at players.

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  • June 6, 2013 at 20:26
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    I couldn't give a s*** if he used to play for West Ham. I'm struggling to understand how immediate backlash and criticism helps a new manager. Look at Rafa Benitez at Chelsea, they hated him and results suffered at first. Same with Kean at Blackburn. Get behind the man who can hopefully get us within earshot of the playoffs!

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  • June 6, 2013 at 20:32
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    Well he got it right with K J so fingers crossed his done it again, roll on next season COYL

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  • June 6, 2013 at 20:36
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    I'm very interested to see how he goes. You can't begin to judge until he's made 4 or 5 signings. Good luck to him I say. COYL

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  • June 6, 2013 at 20:38
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    JB's statement has made me feel much much better about things.

    Rather a young up and coming, well thought of boss than the likes of Bircham, Steve Keen, McLeish etc.

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    • June 6, 2013 at 20:51
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      @JonnyBanks: Fully agree Jonny. I was initially disappointed after all the tripe I mean hype we had been drip fed and I must admit I have little interest in Scottish football so I did not know much about Lomas and I was feeling negative. But after reading a few of the posts by people in the know I feel much more positive especially after JB's comments. Its good that he has players in mind and can hit the ground running. Sounds like a breath of fresh air. The king is dead long live the king.
      All the best Steve good on yer.

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  • June 6, 2013 at 20:39
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    Some of comments (intelligence levels) on this website are unbelievable, Berylson is supporting our club, without him where would be disappearing down the leagues, He losing a substantial amount of money a year and yet people moan. He got it right with KJ, so im trusting his judgement again.
    Who cares that Lomas played for West Ham, he played for many other teams as well, the man need to be given a real chance and i will be supporting the players, the manager and the club 100%.

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  • June 6, 2013 at 20:45
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    I for one will give him a chance I won't be going whilst that t***** is at the helm coincidence helm short for helmet or even shorter for whu

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  • June 6, 2013 at 20:51
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    Sorry, this is going to upset a few people but after a month long process, with at least half a dozen tried and tested managers available we come up with Sreve Lomas. No disrespect Mr Lomas but do me a f****** favour!!!!
    Typical millwall, cheap option. JB can spout on all he wants about this and that but he's so confident of this appointment he's done it on a rolling contract? Look out for 2 nd rate Scottish loans and signings. It saddens me my club has no ambition or forward thinking. I'll be voting with my feet and not buy my season ticket and won't be going back to my club until I'm proved wrong. I won't hold my breath.
    Typical MIllwall, mugging us off again!!!!

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    • June 6, 2013 at 21:12
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      @Rob the cabbie: so who are the tried and tested managers that went for job , what mcleish who would wanted a 3 or 4 year contract , babble who aint managed in england, clement who is a number two, warnock to old not the future , given we have given lomas a 12 month contract wont cost us much if dont work , take a rewind and think many years ago we nearly went skint handing long expensive contracts , its all about millwall and the club for us and our children , the fans that say they aint going are crazy , how can you miss out watching YOUR CLUB EVERY SAT WHO EVER MAY BE INCHARGE ,

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      • June 6, 2013 at 21:45
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        @munson68: I'm sorry I think you're wrong. Lomas was the only candidate who was prepared to be paid peanuts (in championship terms) and work with f*** all money? That's why he got the job, he matched the clubs lowly ambition!!!
        Ps you forgot Coyle, Mclaren, Kean, Rosler, Johnson etc.

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        • June 6, 2013 at 23:03
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          @Rob the cabbie: YES ROB , YOUR ENTITLED TO YOUR OPINION , MCclaren shocking when at forest , coyle was never coming , rosler unproven at championship to , kean not ripped up any trees , and dont you think if us the fans dont turn up ,we will always be the club with no money , we all need to back him like we did with kj .

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  • June 6, 2013 at 20:59
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    Ok he gets a chance . . He is desperate for a job and we need a manager . . At the end of the day if they had appointed Hurlock as his number two
    No one would have said f*** all and he was west ham . . But if he f**** this up and we are in the s*** by Christmas then he can f*** off and take the board with him

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    • June 6, 2013 at 21:20
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      @Fingers: Why is he desperate for a job? Comfortable at St/ Johnstone with Europa League football next year

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  • June 6, 2013 at 21:15
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    Lomas is a rising star we did well to get him.

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  • June 6, 2013 at 21:16
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    Lomas did his homework before the interview. He knows who he wants. This man is going to transform Millwall.

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    • June 6, 2013 at 21:36
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      I agree. He obviously wanted this job and put a lot of effort into getting it. Good luck to him.

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  • June 6, 2013 at 21:20
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    What he wants and what he is going to get might be two different things though

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  • June 6, 2013 at 21:21
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    I'm sure he will

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  • June 6, 2013 at 21:32
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    To quote " If you build it, they will come".

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  • June 6, 2013 at 21:46
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    Very disappointed with this BUT I'll get behind the team and give him a chance - he seems to think we need four or five in attacking areas - good start!!

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  • June 6, 2013 at 22:10
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    Let's see the calibre of players SL brings in, and where we are after 12 games before passing judgement.

    Owen Coyle was manager of St Johnstone before being appointed Burnley manager, Burnley being similar to Millwall in terms of budgetary constraints and passionate, demanding fans. After one year, Burnley almost reached the League Cup final, having beaten Arsenal and Chelsea along the way. Within two years, they won promotion to the Premier League.

    Granted, SL may not be OC, but given that OC was an unknown quantity at the time he was appointed, let's give SL some time to prove himself and turn things around.

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  • June 6, 2013 at 22:17
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    "He'll be very influential in the dressing room and I expect he'll be very successful."

    Ha ha..the rumours about him are true then.

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  • June 6, 2013 at 22:17
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    Wasn't my first choice but he is making all the right noises and fair play to him, like others have said he's shown some b***locks by even coming here. He's chosen to be one of us now. Good Luck

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  • June 6, 2013 at 22:23
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    JB agree all the way lets get behind Lomas

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  • June 6, 2013 at 22:27
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    Also, any truth in Neil Harris being brought in as the number two?

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  • June 6, 2013 at 22:28
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    People are criticising Berylson for this appointment, but do you think he has built his businesses without being able to employ the right people? He knows what he is doing and I was perfectly happy with the time taken over this appointment and who he has selected. I think this will work out fine.

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  • June 6, 2013 at 22:33
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    I say lets get behind Lomas. It's good he's got an idea of players he wants, and He will backed in getting them. As for the Rolling contract, Jackett was on the same contract. Give him a chance

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  • June 6, 2013 at 22:41
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    So JB gave KJ his biggest budget in January and he chose to p*** it up the wall. Now JB is giving SL the same budget, well lets see what he decides to do with it.
    I really hope he has some good friends down here who are willing to help him out.

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    • June 6, 2013 at 23:08
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      He won't be signing the drivel Jackett decided was going to be our forward line.
      Let's see who he brings in before everyone slags him off. I've got a lot of admiration for someone who knows already what we need and he hasn't even been on training field yet. The proof will be in the quality of signings and I'm very sure that we're going to get good players in who are played in their correct position.
      @lukesmithmfc:

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      • June 7, 2013 at 06:12
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        @NICKOLA: yep
        He's done his homework and he definately won't p*** it up like KJ did but until he does bring these five or so players in then we can't judge. They may prove to be worse than we already have. And without doubt he'll play people where they should be played especially as he's a rookie. Back to basics I'm afraid nick and that won't be a bad SP.

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        • June 7, 2013 at 09:39
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          @lukesmithmfc: I hope i'm right but I can't see Lomas signing anyone that won't improve the side as he has got too much riding on it, he will be trying to ensure he gets it right. Kenny was able to get away with it because of his past successes with us.

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  • June 6, 2013 at 23:04
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    I hope Steve Lomas does well and proves all the doubters wrong. According to Berylson he has already indicated the players he wants. I have a feeling next season will be a good one, don't expect miracles though it takes a lot of time and patience to build a winning side. Give the guy a chance.

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  • June 6, 2013 at 23:04
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    Lets face it another year with one track Kenny would have seen us gone. Here is a young man with what appears to have plenty of bottle to take us on and get things moving.

    In 5 years time when we are 3 up at half time against Barca in the champions league final, then some on here may wish to reflect on their words, if however it's Kettering at home in round 1 of the FA Cup, I may also.

    Until either of those events, c 'mon you Lions

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  • June 6, 2013 at 23:28
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    Sounds like he's tailor made for us. Lomas talks our language during his first interview with Sky
    "This is a really exciting challenge for me and I can't wait to get stuck into it.
    "I know Millwall well as a club. It has a great set up and passionate loyal fans who, if we can get them on our side, particularly at The Den, will be a real asset to us.
    "There is already a nucleus of a good squad there, with the likes of David Forde, Paul Robinson, Alan Dunne, Danny Shittu and Jimmy Abdou, proper players and good characters, and those are the sort of people we need and the Millwall fans respond to.
    "I know there is a good group, but we will need to add four or five, particularly in attacking areas and then I think we'll be ready to give it a real go. In making signings I will be looking for character and the right type of player as well as ability.
    "The Championship is a great league, exciting, very competitive, passionate, full-on and while we'll be underdogs against many of the clubs we face, that's the way I like it.
    "Our first priority is to turn the recent home form around. I found the same when I arrived at St Johnstone - good away, less so at home and we worked to get that right. That's my number one goal again now.
    "Millwall is a family club, a working class club whose fans hold it very dear to their hearts.
    I've already been asked, what's an ex-Hammer doing managing them, then?
    "The answer is that I was a council estate kid, I love a challenge, I like hard work and I understand the fans who work hard all week and come to see Millwall on a Saturday expecting to see their team play with pride and passion.
    "I am grateful for the responsibility of helping deliver that for them. For those who have their doubts, it is up to me to show by my actions, and more importantly, by our results, that they can believe in me."

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    • June 7, 2013 at 09:45
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      @Lonz: The more I hear about this guy the more I like him. Sounds like he was born Wall but didn't know it!

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      • June 7, 2013 at 09:59
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        @Sealion:
        * Council estate kid
        * Likes being the underdog
        * Understands Lions fans want to see the team play with passion and pride
        * Bigs up our 'proper player'
        * Says we need four or five more particular in attacking areas
        * Makes transforming our home form his top priority
        Yep, that'll do for me. Let's av it!!!!!

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  • June 7, 2013 at 00:32
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    Good luck ol son. Now bring in some quality & win us over. JB, you're a shrewd fu**er!

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  • June 7, 2013 at 01:46
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    Get behind the new Manager, the Chairman, the club AND the CEO or fk off down to Welling for a Conference day out.

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  • June 7, 2013 at 08:40
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    Every single one of us would work for West Ham if they offered us more money than our current employers.

    Lomas isn't a West ham fan but someone who earned a wage there.

    Some people need to get a grip on life.

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  • June 7, 2013 at 08:52
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    On paper he has anwsered all the right questions. Every member on news at den must have all commented about bringing in a goalscorer and he wants to bring 4-5 attacking options roll new season

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  • June 7, 2013 at 09:32
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    Some of the Berylson comments are interesting (and worrying):

    "... I didn't want someone who was massively intellectual about tactics or who focused too much on diagrams. I just don't think that would have worked. I wanted a manager not a coach."
    Nothing wrong with a division of labour and if SL's remit doesn't include coaching then so be it. Nevertheless, I reckon that a decent coach might come in handy!

    "... Berylson will afford Lomas the same financial backing as he did his predecessor Jackett. ...
    (KJ) had a bigger wage budget in the second half of last season than he'd ever had before."
    Two points here: We will probably struggle to compete financially yet again. On the other hand, the signings in the 2nd half of last season were nothing short of a disaster, so SL must be able to get better value for money (surely?).

    "I don't believe the board got enough credit for the way we backed Kenny in terms of the payroll. "
    Hope that Berylson isn't getting cheesed off. I was sad to see KJ leave but JB going would be a disaster.

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  • June 7, 2013 at 09:49
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    Steve Lomas, his connection with the scammers could land us Carlton Cole (don't like him) but he could do us a job in the championship!!!!!!!!!!

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    • June 7, 2013 at 10:53
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      @leemark: Could't care less if our forward line was Freddie Kruger Hannibal Lecter and Bob the builder as long as they can put the bloody ball in the net it's fine by me.

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  • June 7, 2013 at 12:01
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    One year contract,they must have so much confidence in him NOT

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  • June 7, 2013 at 14:49
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    Well Mr Berylson, it's time to back your manager and give him the finances to buy some good players, not loan deals or hasbeens!!! last season was scary, please don't allow us to be in that position again. If you speculate you accumulateb and the crowds follow!!!!

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  • June 8, 2013 at 00:13
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    He will win us over JB just give him some dough bring in new blood and win at home COYL

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  • June 9, 2013 at 12:08
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    why all this rubbish about steve lomas the vile west ham ex player.

    hes got what we want and have always wanted spirit and hes a %100 trier.
    any way if he is not acceptable what about harry cripps denis burnett billy bonds and others.
    we did not have these stupid comments then so why now.
    so i welcome steve lomas because as an ex west ham player hes shown the bottle to step into the lions den.

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