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"Confident" Millwall impress Holloway in Mallorca friendly

© Millwall FC
© Millwall FC

IAN Holloway toasted a confident display from his side after Millwall rounded off their pre-season campaign by beating Real Mallorca at The Den.

Jermaine Easter's deflected first-half strike – his third goal of the summer – ensured the Lions head into next Saturday's season-opener against Leeds United on the back of a win. [groups_member group="Insider"]

Holloway fielded two different XIs in either half to give every member of his squad much-needed minutes on the field.

"I'm pleased because I could see what we've been practising, and I could see it in the first half and the second half," Holloway said.

"I'm a little disappointed we only got one goal because we put some excellent crosses in and there was some good play, but that's the first time those teams have played together.

"We trained them for an hour and a half on Friday morning so they were working from a tired base but they've come out and gone again. They feel really sharp.

"I had run them the day before – one of my timed runs – and they all beat my target by three or four seconds. They recovered really quickly and you can feel their confidence.

"I was really pleased with some of the things we did but it doesn't mean anything unfortunately – I hate to say it. Pre-season games are a load of twaddle.

"I'm glad we managed to get a Spanish team over because I love the way they kept the ball and they were a good test for us.

"They were away from home so they were trying to pass it, but I felt we closed, we pressed and we caused them all sorts of issues without the ball, especially in the first half.

"We didn't look like letting a goal in – we were confident and, as far as I'm concerned, we showed immense discipline as well because the game could have easily fired up."

The match was keenly contested by both teams, with several yellow cards being branded by the referee over the course of 90 feisty minutes.

Holloway admitted afterwards that Alan Dunne was lucky not to have been sent off for one foul in the first half.

"If that's not a red card, I don't know what is," he said. "I don't know what Dunney was thinking. I could see he was going to stop the guy getting through, but that was cynical.

"Mallorca went a little bit over the top because the player wasn't actually hurt, but I thought the referee handled it pretty well.

"That set the tone for the rest of the night and made it quite interesting. I'm sure if the FA was watching, we might have been fined but that's just Millwall and it was great, wasn't it?"

Millwall began the night in a 4-1-4-1 formation which shifted to 4-3-3 when they were on the attack, and Holloway hinted that would be his preferred system over the coming season.

"It's all about structure and what you want to create," he said.

"I want to create something at The Den that is very difficult for anybody to break down.

"But we will be able to change our tactics – if I'm boxing someone and his stance changes to southpaw, I've got to be able to adapt and overcome.

"Hopefully we won't ever worry about anyone else and we'll just keep doing what we do. The lads are buying into it and everything is so together at the moment."

The Lions now have a week to prepare for the big kick-off against Leeds.

Holloway added: "First of all I can't wait for Tuesday – we have a family day at The Den and that's going to be completely awesome.

"The fans are going to watch the lads train and then we've got the team photo.

"After that we've got a behind-closed-doors game against QPR, so I can make sure everyone has played enough minutes. The lads' attitude is fantastic."

Alex Aldridge

(@accordingtoaldo)

13 thoughts on “"Confident" Millwall impress Holloway in Mallorca friendly

  • August 2, 2014 at 12:47
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    Im liking what im hearing,in a weeks time well' find out if its the real deal,or like last year all talk.

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      • August 2, 2014 at 13:56
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        @NO1LIKESUS: nothing to get excited about. Unless we'll gonna play 25 playerx every week

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        • August 3, 2014 at 09:09
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          @Jim28: when wax the last time we could have fielded two teams like this in a game ?? Never under Jackett. Not even in the good old days.

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  • August 2, 2014 at 14:36
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    After we smash Leeds & we will. then we can start talking about confidence.

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  • August 2, 2014 at 15:21
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    Just had a bet with a big-mouthed Nottingham Forest supporter in my local pub that Millwall will finish above NF at the end of the season. he would only go to £10 ! COYL

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        • August 3, 2014 at 09:14
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          @Peckhamlad: does anyone know how bad bailey's injury is.cos under olly he has never been on a losing side

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  • August 3, 2014 at 19:54
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    "I want to create something at The Den that is very difficult for anybody to break down.

    this is the key sentence from IH to my mind - I think we will be first and foremost about defence this year - patience needed from the crowd if we don't throw people forward to win games - more control and quality possession, play for 2 or 3 good chances a match and keep oppo to one goal max

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  • August 3, 2014 at 22:38
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    Just in case anyone is interested, Millwall have sold circa 5,200 season tickets for this season to date.
    That's about 300 less than last year although revenue is up as not as many took advantage of the early-bird offer. Probably waiting for this new striker.

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  • August 3, 2014 at 23:38
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    I like what am hearing and I am confident that we can do well in the championship as ollie seems to get well organised. COYL

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