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Millwall boss: Feisty friendly was exactly what we needed

© Edmund Boyden
© Edmund Boyden

IAN Holloway was delighted with the competitive workout his side were given by Stevenage in Saturday's friendly at the Lamex Stadium.

The League Two side were full-blooded in the tackle and challenged for every 50-50 ball as the Lions were put through their paces in hot and sticky conditions.

Midfielder Nicky Bailey required a stitch in his shin after being caught by the studs of Simon Walton in the 2-2 draw, but Holloway had no issue with the ferocity of the game.

He said: "It was fantastic wasn't it? That's what you don't get when you play against yourself.

"We were very disciplined, we looked after ourselves and we didn't lose our rag like we could have done.

"I'm delighted with Nicky because it looked like he was going to lose it but we calmed him down.

"That's how you stand up to a late tackle. Was it meant? I don't think so, Stevenage just wanted to win and that was nice."

Minutes after receiving treatment, Bailey put Millwall ahead with a close-range tap in before Walton's quick-fire double gave Stevenage the lead.

But Jermaine Easter rescued a draw with a well-taken penalty in the 54th minute.

"I was delighted with the first half but our organisation let us down in the second half when a few of the younger lads came on," Holloway added.

"Their lad took two great free kicks but we could have been further ahead by then – Lee Gregory was unlucky with one he lobbed over, normally he scores those.

"I was delighted with the response after we went behind and it was a great bit of skill to get us back in it – it's just a shame we can't give Fred Onyedinma the ball more.

"John Marquis' disallowed goal was very tight but I don't think it was offside. It was a great workout for everyone and a great day.

"It's a shame we can't play more of these competitive games because the police charge extra just because it's Millwall.

"I don't understand it at all – our fans today were magnificent, so what's the issue?"

Alex Aldridge

(@accordingtoaldo)

23 thoughts on “Millwall boss: Feisty friendly was exactly what we needed

  • July 19, 2014 at 18:31
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    Im starting to think that under that managers jacket, shirt and tie ollie has a massive millwall lion tattooed on his chest !!!!

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  • July 19, 2014 at 18:34
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    Fred is looking great, maybe we could finally produce a prem class player. Just hope he isn't sold on the cheap. COYL

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    • July 19, 2014 at 21:29
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      @icemark100: wasn't overly impressed with Fred today. Sid Nelson looks like the star of the future

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  • July 19, 2014 at 18:50
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    Always wondered why championship teams sell their gifted young players ( some times to rivals ) when the prize of the prem is so much more rewarding that a quick couple of Mill
    oh yeah its a business ..... would love to have some young players other clubs want

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    • July 20, 2014 at 09:31
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      @mfc2u: it usually isn't a choice, if prem club came in to buy one our youth players they want to join them, so your forced to sell them..

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      • July 20, 2014 at 12:33
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        Yes that always is a factor and im sure in the wages departments bigger rival clubs are probably offering to double or triple someone's wages @conor:

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  • July 19, 2014 at 19:00
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    Excellent result, 2-2 away at stevenage ffs. At this stage we should be putting tactics into action no having a f*****g workout. I hope this isnt another season when we play like crap and the manager talks of positives like at least the team turned up!

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    • July 19, 2014 at 19:46
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      @Geoff the lion: So the Pre Season when we beat Palace 6-0 was a yardstick as to the season ahead? We beat Rayo Vallecano last season and that season went well didn't it! It's all about work outs at this stage Geoff, how can it be about tactics when we are switching the entire team after 45 mins and if we don't the opposition do? Training is for tactics.

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      • July 20, 2014 at 15:27
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        @JonnyBanks: I hear what you are saying jonny but if you recall a previous statement made by IH was that the style of football should be exactly the same from the academy through to the first team! Logic would suggest that even by switching the entire team at the end of the first half, shouldn't make that much difference against a div 2 club! It just goes to show we are nowhere near ready for the championship assault we've been hyped up for. As an ex soldier I was taught fit to fight, then comes tactics, but you don't into battle until your tactics are sound! Fitness at that point is a given! At the end of the day, if we are still at the fitness point, we are in for a rough season, but hey what's new! IH is the best we've had in many a decade, so in him I trust COYL

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        • July 20, 2014 at 16:03
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          @Geoff the lion: as we all know, a good team is greater than the sum of its parts, sometimes it's the balance in the team that makes them perform. Ollie is giving lots of players a chance so I will only be interested in performances once the settled first 11 are playing regularly, in this case that will be 4-5 games into the season. Keep calm Cpl Jones!

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        • July 20, 2014 at 17:24
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          @Geoff the lion: "a previous statement made by IH was that the style of football should be exactly the same from the academy through to the first team". He did say that, but I expect he was more concerned keeping us up in the few months he had with us last season. I cannot imagine this universal playing principle has had more than just this pre-season to get underway and must take months to refine. I think we need to be patient.

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          • July 20, 2014 at 19:23
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            @SE14: I think you'll find he made that comment after the end of the season, but I agree we need to be patient.y concern is that during Portugal training he said he has never seen a team so physically fit, so surely he should be focusing on tactics now! Maybe he is but the statements don't suggest it. I do however have faith in IH so if anyone can make our millwall great, he's the man that can COYL

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  • July 19, 2014 at 19:07
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    I know competitive is a plus for friendlies, not just messing about but to be ultra competitive flying into tackles trying to prove a point that lower league teams are still decent is a bit much. I mean, Ollie could have come out of this game with a couple of bad injuries before a ball has been kicked in the league. As it stands it's a run out but his attitude would have been different had players gone off thanks to some over eager lads from the lower leagues. I know this can happen at any level though granted.

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  • July 19, 2014 at 19:56
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    "It was fantastic wasn't it? That's what you don't get when you play against yourself."

    Erm...I'm sure only the other week Ollie thought friendlies a waste of time?

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    • July 20, 2014 at 16:06
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      @lionking: yeah I ain't reading too much into his comments, I'm sure he is just ad libbing to give the press a quote. It's not important what he says to the press, so long as the players are getting a solid message.

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  • July 19, 2014 at 20:01
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    Can anyone tell me why fuller wasn't in the lineup? I'm assuming he's injured?

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    • July 19, 2014 at 20:06
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      @G_LION_HEART: I think he was being shown as an exhibit on the antiques roadshow .

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    • July 19, 2014 at 21:07
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      @G_LION_HEART: He's not injured, he'll be with the team next week

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    • July 19, 2014 at 22:33
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      @G_LION_HEART: He was up north moving house... should play against Mallorca...

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  • July 19, 2014 at 23:50
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    Wot a complete waste of time & money..the players who took part tuesday & today ...aint got a clue if they will be in the starting eleven come the start of the season

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  • July 20, 2014 at 10:50
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    Went to the Bromley game yesterday to see the kids and had a chat with Neil Harris. He thinks Jake Goodman could make the step up this season and a few others. This same fixture the kids lost last year but a year on playing against a stronger Bromley team they looked like they'd grown as a team.

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    • July 20, 2014 at 16:08
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      @Bones: that's interesting, Goodman had a good loan spell last season as well, so it appears to have had the desired effect. I would trust Choppers opinion.

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