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Millwall boss was always confident of pulling off Briggs deal

© Millwall FC
© Millwall FC

IAN Holloway has revealed Millwall "held their nerve" to sign Matthew Briggs.

The left back initially rejected a contract offer from the Lions but revived negotiations on Friday before putting pen-to-paper on a one-year contract.

Briggs was offered a more lucrative deal by Blackpool and Holloway had earlier stated that Millwall's hopes of landing the former Fulham trainee were dead in the water.

But the 23-year-old had a change of heart and committed his future to the Lions after taking a few days to weigh up his options.

"It was always going to turn around," Holloway said.

"I switched off, I told Andy Ambler 'good luck with that' and 'hold your nerve' because I felt the kid worked so hard for me.

"I sat Briggsy down and showed him what I think he needs to do.

"Because of my new routine and staffing levels, I got [performance anaylst] Jay Lefevre to put together clips from three of his games.

"We watched a good game, a bad game and one that he wasn't so sure about – Briggsy had never done that before.

"I'm really excited about the boy wanting to play and wanting to be taught – and that's where it starts.

"If he gets worried and he can't do it here, we're going to crucify him and I can't have that. So I need him to step to the plate and take responsibility for everything he says and does."

When Briggs first burst onto the scene at Fulham, he was an England youth international being linked with moves to Manchester United and Arsenal.

And Holloway believes the defender struggled to cope with the outside world's expectations of him.

"Potential is just a curse because people talk about you – you're either as good as they think you should be, or you're not," the Lions boss said.

"I once saw someone blow potential out of the water just by believing in himself – and that was Les Ferdinand.

"He went off with England one day, he came back and Ray Wilkins said to him: 'if you don't look the part, if you don't feel the part, who's going to believe in you?'

"Les changed everything about himself after that and this kid could do the same.

"But I've got Scott Malone and Scott knows that Briggs is coming in – so what do I need to do? I need to sit back and encourage the both of them.

"I don't really care who plays. If they don't respect my decisions they can get out of my club because I will show them respect."

Alex Aldridge

(@accordingtoaldo)

68 thoughts on “Millwall boss was always confident of pulling off Briggs deal

  • August 4, 2014 at 08:35
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    Haha, Ollie didn't sound too sure of closing this deal two weeks ago.....well done A A for hanging in there and getting the deal done

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  • August 4, 2014 at 08:47
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    Left back postion should be very interesting this season , what happened to the Argie fellow

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    • August 4, 2014 at 11:17
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      @lionheart: he was only signed up to the end of the season. He has gone

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  • August 4, 2014 at 09:07
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    Now for a Striker - how about this lad

    - Sky Sports understands Charlton and Brentford are tracking prolific French striker Andy Delort. Delort has come to the atttention of a host of clubs across Europe following his goalscoring exploits with Tours FC last season. The 22-year-old finished as top scorer in Ligue 2, scoring 24 goals in 36 appearances, and Tours are facing a fight to retain his services.

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  • August 4, 2014 at 09:09
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    If he's as good as it appears, Scott will have some competition this season.
    Interesting!!

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    • August 4, 2014 at 09:21
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      @Millwallsteve: I thought Malone was excellent last season but it's true that he didn't have any real competition. He also seems to be very confident in himself so should be able to handle some quality competition for the LB position

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      • August 4, 2014 at 09:34
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        @glyngo: Briggs was offered a more lucrative deal by Blackpool. Does anyone seriously believe this.still he is here & will get my support

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        • August 4, 2014 at 10:34
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          @Jim28:

          Exactly what I said, no way did blackpool offer more. To be honest I would have just rathered keeping the argie left back.

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          • August 4, 2014 at 11:09
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            @Tayls: Tayls, you have to be joking,if you read what ollie has said,this boy briggs can play in other positions,also ollie has had a good look at the boy and put his own reputation on the line by signing him.
            I cannot see IH making this deal lightly.
            people seem to think briggs is going to be in competition with malone only,from what i have read he can play in other positions so ollie is going to have some versatile players in his squad, and this guy is one of them.

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          • August 4, 2014 at 11:20
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            @Tayls: any player would have to be desperate to sign for Blackpool. They are in a total mess.

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      • August 4, 2014 at 12:27
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        @glyngo: Yeah, Malone was great last season - voted for him as my player of the season... always good to have competition though - especially in that position - because it's VERY physically demanding (constant long distance sprints).
        I was quite amazed how Malone kept up his crazy work rate for the duration he did last season - so on that score, it's also good that there's someone there to stand in if fatigue or injury is an issue - plus, that it is someone who is comfortable in that position. Beevers played the LWB position on Friday and I thought he did a surprisingly good job - but I think most of us would agree that he's naturally stronger in a CB position.

        On a separate issue - encouraging reading other fans views of the game on Friday - a lot of us had totally different groups of players we thought stood out and played well! To me, this is great news, as it shows that the average work rate of the team as a whole is higher - and pretty much everybody on the team has raised their personal game in some way.
        Great work Ollie & Co, the team's looking sharp - keep up the hard work lads - because it shows!! COYL!
        p.s. think we've had a better pre - season than a certain club in claret and blue! A trip to New Zealand - 2 losses, jet lagged and a crocked Andy Carrol! Oh dear....

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        • August 4, 2014 at 18:35
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          @Luke ColdBlow10: he kept his crazy work rate going forward by being caught at the back, I like Malone but he's not the finished article. He could always push Malone up or Briggs can play further forward or inside.

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          • August 4, 2014 at 21:13
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            @Lincolnshire Lion: True, he's not quite Ashley Cole yet! Sharing the work load on that wing wouldn't be a bad idea either = to defend, bomb down the wing and create a decent chance at the end of it, is difficult for the best of players. Best thing is, both Malone and Briggs are young enough to become seriously good!

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        • August 5, 2014 at 05:44
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          @Luke ColdBlow10:

          I live in NZ and couldn't bring myself to go and watch them in Auckland where I live...had the Newcastle game been in Auckland I would have gone but not to watch the east London scumbags.........few of my friends went who support other clubs.....I told them to start a Millwall chant and see what happens........mmmmmmmmmmmiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiilllllllllllllllllllllllllllll

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  • August 4, 2014 at 09:30
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    Love this by Ollie, he has a real passion to do well here! I don't really care who plays. If they don't respect my decisions they can get out of my club because I will show them respect." it's going to be a great season. Hope we land another striker asap though! I think Malone will need to be on his a game.

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      • August 4, 2014 at 11:14
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        @Jim28: Jim i also use the term MY CLUB when talking about MILLWALL,and do you know why,because it is my club.
        When i say my club the people i am speaking to know i am talking about MILLWALL,so i have no problem with IH calling it his club,as long as he gives %100 as i know you do your self,and i do also.

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      • August 4, 2014 at 13:18
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        @Jim28: our club jim

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      • August 4, 2014 at 15:03
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        @Jim28: Jim28, it's definitely 'our' club or the club 'We Support'. NOT MY CLUB - no one likes US.....not no one likes 'ME'. ( LOL ).......can't wait till Saturday, when we can argue with fans that hopefully NOT Powder - Puff . ( LOL ).

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      • August 4, 2014 at 18:05
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        @Jim28: if a manager shows commitment by referring to it being his club I am glad to hear it. It shows a mentality that I would demand from our management and playing staff. I am sure he wasn't referring to ownership

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  • August 4, 2014 at 09:48
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    Can we assume that everyone is being honest? I sell cars if I am buying a strategy is to offer a deal then just walk away if it is not accepted, if you have read the situation correctly the seller comes back and accepts the offer just what Ollie and Andy have done. The fact that the lad looked at the Blackpool option and was offered more money only goes to show what a good place Millwall is to be at. Very pleased with the signing and not really panicking over a new striker, I think we have enough even though on Friday we were short on goal attempts but not sure you can read too much into that with the mix and match set up. I do have a feeling though as much as I can’t wait for Saturday that Steve Morrison will come back to haunt us.

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  • August 4, 2014 at 10:56
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    Disagree with the striker situation our strikers ain't up to it they proved that last season. McDonald playing in midfield o'brien playing on the wing. Marquis injured. Which leaves fuller can't play 90 mins. Easter only scores when he comes off the bench & Gregory untried at this level. We need a striker instead going on about poxey defenders

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    • August 4, 2014 at 11:11
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      @block 28: Quite agree.We really need another striker.But no sign of one at the moment ?

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    • August 4, 2014 at 11:23
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      @block 28: I really do understand your concerns Block 28. Would love another striker in we seem to have players who ‘chip in’ with goals as opposed to a 15-20 goal a season man, but these are not only rare they are expensive and so, as someone put it, as we are shopping in Poundland, compared to most other teams in the league we have to be creative. After saying that it seems to me that this year Ollie will get us much tighter at the back, I do not, for instance, expect our customary once a season five or six goal tonking down the Den, so perhaps the odd goal may suffice. I also have a really good feeling about Gregory, I have only watched him for one half on Friday but he did seem to have the knack of being in the right place when the ball went in or around the box and we know from his Halifax time he can find the target could just be the surprise of the Championship.

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      • August 4, 2014 at 11:42
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        @lennie the lion: lennie i agree with your last to post which are both sensible and pragmatic,alas they will go right over the heads of some posters on NAD who think we have bundles of money to spend.
        I am sitting watching the WW1 rememberance as i write this,and it made me think,if i had been in the trenches with those soldiers,who on NAD would i want fighting with me you are one of them.

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    • August 4, 2014 at 11:26
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      @block 28: block IH is trying to build a team at millwall,and he cannot do every thing at once,because we do not have the money,so he has started well with the defence as far as i am concerned.
      Brian Clough based his teams on being good defenders first and fore most,then being able to attack out of defence,so perhaps IH wants to be sure of who he signs,before spending valuable assets on panic buys.
      IH has done what has been asked of him so far,so lets be patient and have a bit more trust in the man.

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      • August 4, 2014 at 17:47
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        @jim1222: I agree that the defence comes first but I thought we had that covered with the signings of Edwards & Webster we lost 4 strikers at the end of the season & replaced them with 2 so it would be sensible to get another one before the start of the season so he can settle in probably.

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        • August 4, 2014 at 18:07
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          @block 28: very pragmatic block. You also want to remind jim1222 that clough was a p*** head

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          • August 5, 2014 at 01:55
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            @Jim28: Yes jim a very PRAGMATIC and sensible reply by block 28,also it does not need block to remind me clough was a p*** head,but he won championships, two european cups,and always put out entertaining and competitive teams untill the booze at long last caught up with him ,but i wont ask block to remind you of that ,i will remind you myself,so i would have loved that P*** head at millwall when he was in his prime.
            At least i taught you a new word,PRAGMATIC.

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  • August 4, 2014 at 11:00
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    Smart move by the lad, sometimes it's not all about the money. Glad he weighed it all up and decided to play at millwall. Could probably see an exciting time ahead and some decent structures in place.

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  • August 4, 2014 at 11:17
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    Anyone thought about playing Malone as a left side centre back alongside Webster and playing Briggs left back. was at the game friday, thought we tried to pass the ball well, Gregory will need time to adapt but so did Harris when he first signed.

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    • August 4, 2014 at 11:33
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      @makerman: makerman you are correct about the harris and gregory comparison ,but their are far to many people expecting gregory to step up to championship speed straight away,but if he does not we have to give him time to adjust from non league to championship or we will destroy his confidence.

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      • August 5, 2014 at 07:37
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        @jim1222: times change and not always for the better concerning players & managers.these days they are not given 4yrs to get things right.so expect LG to come under pressure if he dont perform right a way..

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    • August 5, 2014 at 05:45
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      @makerman:
      Would be a waste of Malone's talent playing him at centre back.

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  • August 4, 2014 at 11:49
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    Lovin all the ollie fire and passion, but maybe he should calm down with the 'my millwall'. He's yet to prove himself although I think he will, but will he still be here in 3 years time. Ollie it's our millwall!!!!

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  • August 4, 2014 at 12:45
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    It is his Millwall, it is your Millwall and my Millwall, he has taken full responsibility of our Club, how many of the last 8 or 9 managers have done that with any love or passion or conviction than Olli, NONE, Olli is the right man for the right club at the right time and we all know that he has already shown he is one of us, he will do the job we want him to do or die trying.
    He is one of us, he was Millwall before he knew it, how many of us wished that he came to us before KJ ?
    how many of us have been desperate for a manager that has the gift of persuasion with players, the strength of character to turn around a bunch of no hopers into the quality form that they shoed at the end of last season, some of the d******* names tjhat were bandied about when NO HOPE LOMAS got sacked would have come out with the old, " we have to concentrate on next season blah blah blah" and not made the players feel like they could do better than they were, Then for this season bought in a load of old mates and players from previous clubs (wage bandits) who would of shown up with maybe history and no love for OUR MILLWALL then kucked off leaving us looking for yet another manager with us being in a lower division.
    I hope olli retires at the age of 80 being Millwalls longest serving manager and the most successful manager we have ever had, I am not some Kid that just says things for effect, I have been Millwall thru and thru for 46 years, seen it all and done it all, I have never been so excited and happy about any Manager that we have had in all that time, if your not then just think back to the likes of Bonds, donaghey, that idiot from sky....oh yeah Spackman, first name Nigel for kuck sake, who thought yes thats the man for us?, NO ONE.
    Ripping weeds apart on saturday is going to be the first step for us, roar like we can, make the weeds players crap themselves, lets do that wherever we go, whoever we play, make our Lions feel like GIANTS and let's see what happens at the end of the season, until then......
    IN OLLI WE MUST TRUST and
    COME ON YOU LIONS.

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    • August 4, 2014 at 13:15
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      @terry the turk lion: terry I'm with you all the way, I couldn't want for a better manager than ollie. Win or lose I stand by my word, but ollie needs to do some time before he makes himself one of us. . I hope he is with us when he's 80, but managers come and go, but we will always be lions

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      • August 4, 2014 at 14:23
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        @Geoff the lion: I totally agree mate and let's back him the board and players all the way.

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        • August 4, 2014 at 14:37
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          @terry the turk lion: wouldn't have it any other way terry. Roll on Saturday Miiiiiiiiiiiiiii

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          • August 4, 2014 at 17:02
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            @Jim28: sorry suppose to be sold not sild

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    • August 4, 2014 at 14:32
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      @terry the turk lion: well said terry IH is moving us in the right direction from bottom to top just like George graham did in past new training pitches etc. and he brings with him players who want to play under him. I think this coming season with be interesting a top half finish would be good no sleepless nights and IH is building for the future and only wants players who want to play for him and the club.

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    • August 4, 2014 at 18:30
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      @terry the turk lion: 100% with you on your thread about IH, but I also hope JB don't ever lose intrest because we couldn't ask for any better chairman.

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  • August 4, 2014 at 12:50
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    Personally, I am happy with the all the signings but do agree that a proven goalscorer is still required and wouldn't be surprised if there is a loan deal sorted before the months out. I am very optimistic about the season ahead and see no reason why we shouldn't be there or thereabouts, come the play-offs Go on the super 'Wall.

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  • August 4, 2014 at 13:37
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    @jim1222 100% agree with you, we canot expect to much from Gregory we need to build his confidence. Was happy with what i saw on Friday we are heading in the right direction but should not be thinking to far ahead of ourselves.

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  • August 4, 2014 at 15:07
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    Agree with your post mackerman. Lets check the tables at Xmas and see where we are. Most sides in this division have more money than us and that statistic is verified by the bookies prices for our teams chances. We have a good manager and some solid players, but I dont expect Millwall to set the Championship alight this season. Mid table mediocrity by April will do me.

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  • August 4, 2014 at 15:36
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    Slightly off topic here but I'd just like to wish Scott Barron a happy retirement. Sadly he has has to jack it in at the age of only 28. Great little player in my book. Good luck to the lad.

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  • August 4, 2014 at 15:54
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    Off topic as well, and I posted this question on another thread but no answer was forthcoming, perhaps someone knows? Where is Fred? I just wondered why one of our brightest prospects never figured in last week's friendly? Is he injured?

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    • August 4, 2014 at 22:23
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      @Peckhamlad: No one knows? I thought at least he would have been a sub in last weeks game.

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  • August 4, 2014 at 16:11
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    Leon Best confirmed as going on loan to Derby.
    Guess that means we'll be aiming for Smith now.

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    • August 4, 2014 at 18:07
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      Smith is the better prospect both in the short term and long term resale value.

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  • August 4, 2014 at 18:22
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    Anyone else think a deal for Smith might still happen after he Leeds game?? Ollie has said he is holding out. Makes sense for Leeds to stall because you know he would come on and bang in a couple if we got him before the first game. Ollies not stupid and he doesn't seem to be panicking about a forward??

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    • August 4, 2014 at 18:37
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      @bigC: lets see how many dislikes I can get for no particular reason in this reply. ...... Hit dislike NOW !

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  • August 4, 2014 at 19:10
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    Ollie has got to get across the importance of discipline this season and I'm confident he will. I believe it will be the most important factor. I'm not just talking about diving in and getting sent off, I'm talking about staying calm too. The problem we have had in the past few seasons, is that we tend to go into panic mode far too easily, when we go a goal down or have not scored. We tend to force play, and then give the ball back far too quickly. Ollie knew it would take quite a while for the players to conform, so that why he brought in Hoff, as it suited what they were used to. (More direct paths) This season will be a total different kettle of fish.

    Also I would suggest practising on our home ground (not just training ground). It sounds mad, but I'd like to see players smashing the back of 'The Den' net regularly, so it becomes familiar. I really believe in visualisation techniques, and how it can influence events. Practising dead ball scenarios on our home ground would also really benefit this, as every pitch is slightly different, and you pick up peripheral distances and sub-conscious anchors differently too.

    This season is a total win-win situation. We are trying to play the right way, so any mistakes are good, because we will progress. If you look at West Ham, they have put themselves in a lose-lose situation, as they never keep the ball, so the team can't progress as a footballing club. Their chairmen obviously never listened to Alan Sugar! Big mistake! They do not know what they are doing in terms of football at all, and trusting Sam Allardyce is suicidal! Times have never been better supporting Millwall! People who know football, will be smiling right now 😉

    I don't really care what anyone thinks of my ideas by the way! Aldo you need to get rid of the red arrows mate, a lot of rival supporters come here just to spread negativity. If the comment is bad, you wont see any 'likes' Simples! I've read some good posts on here over last few weeks, and seen lots of red arrows. It doesn't offer anything good by adding it to your site mate. (the site is great by the way 🙂 All the best everyone.

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    • August 4, 2014 at 20:32
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      @Alexdangelo: Great post Alex, totally agree with all points made - especially the part about staying calm under pressure and not forcing play. The best clubs always concentrate on keeping possession and waiting for the right moment to strike. So many times last season I had the same conversation during games, particularly about rushing and snatching at chances. Thankfully, I think there's been a lot of improvement in being comfortable in possession - and MASSIVE improvements from the Lomas stint, as nobody wanted to take any responsibility during that time.... It's true, it should be a totally different kettle of fish this season - with new foundations in place - Fitness and tactics being the big 2 things for me... Can't wait for the big kick off now! COYL!

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      • August 5, 2014 at 02:12
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        @Luke ColdBlow10: Luke only one thing i disagree with,when you say no body wanted to take responsibility, i thought Woolford and Malone tried to but two players are not stong enough to carry a whole team.

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    • August 5, 2014 at 02:06
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      @Alexdangelo: Alex i too have read many good posts on NAD and your post is right up there with them.
      Great post Alex

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  • August 5, 2014 at 06:04
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    I too think we have found the man for us in IH....or at least for next few years anyway. I think he is building a nice team and yes it cant all be done in one off season. If he can get us mid table this year (of course better than that will be great) but mid table this year and then move a few around and get some more new blood next season then we will be ready to Roar again and finally make the premiership.... Its not a big ask...and really think under IH it is do able in 2 or 3 seasons....

    C'mon Wall.......lets start the season off by sending Weeds back up the motorway with no points.... and then suck it to Fulham as well and we will be close to the top of the table after the first 2 games...:-) here's hoping anyway

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  • August 5, 2014 at 08:21
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    Has anyone heard from storming Norman, not seen him on here for a while. Getting a bit worried about him.

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    • August 5, 2014 at 08:32
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      @mfc1rob: ifyou dont hear by thursday then get worried.latest news.Holloway not expecting to add any more new faces for Leeds game.

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      • August 6, 2014 at 00:34
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        @Jim28:
        Probably in the nut house waiting for bushwacker and jim.

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      • August 6, 2014 at 14:51
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        @Jim28: Hey, everybody! By Popular Demand we have a chap that needs perhaps to be sent to an Afganistan Helmand Province Jail, ( then the key thrown away ). Lol........only joking! The Taliban have enough problems , ha, ha, ha. ( remember the Site name : oh I forgotten already ).

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