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Millwall striker "too close to first team" for Saints start

© Millwall FC
© Millwall FC

LEE Gregory did not start in last night's cup tie against Southampton because he is "too close to the first team", manager Ian Holloway has revealed.

Gregory had been expected to lead the line for the Lions but John Marquis was picked ahead of him. Holloway named Gregory on the bench but decided not to bring him on.

However, the Millwall boss explained that he did not want to play the striker with an important Championship fixture coming up against Blackpool this weekend.

"Gregory is too close to the first team to start," Holloway said.

"I was tempted to put him on but he has caught up to this level over pre-season from being a non-league player training twice a week.

"That's phenomenal. I believe he's going to score, he's just got to settle down and he will score. I was pleased with Marquis’ effort."

Despite matching Southampton in general play, the Lions created few clear-cut chances.

Holloway added: "I told Jermaine Easter to shoot more and he nearly got a goal immediately – if that’d gone it, it would have been a different story because we’d have gained more energy.

"I couldn’t ask for much more but I thought 1-0 would have done it – I don’t think they were two goals better than us.

"But you saw their experience because they stepped onto us in the second half. They looked at what we were doing and caught us out a few times.

"Is that their manager being clever? Probably? But is it Jack Cork coming on, the quality that they’ve got and as getting a little bit tired?

"I think it’s a combination of both really.

"The beautiful thing about it is that we played a different way – we've never played that team before – and it almost looked quite good.

"Our fans stayed on at the end to give our boys a round of applause, which is pretty unusual if we lose. Marc Bircham apparently got booed here when he won 1-0!"

Staff

(@NewsAtDen)

36 thoughts on “Millwall striker "too close to first team" for Saints start

  • August 27, 2014 at 15:58
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    COYL

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  • August 27, 2014 at 16:09
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    Must be the most lame excuse i've heard

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    • August 27, 2014 at 16:41
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      Well ollie as most millwall fans will agree, we dont care what the result is, as long as we can see that our team gives their all! Birch was booed off because it was a dreadful half hearted performance! we played a full strength premier league side and our reserve side didnt look out of place at all, only player that i thought was incredibly poor was briggs, the youngsters did very well though, jack powell's performance is worthy of some sort of appearence saturday even if he only comes off the bench! Onwards and upwards

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      • August 27, 2014 at 17:14
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        @millwallhazza98: Powell showed he is nearly ready for the first team, he could definitely play a sub role in the League. Very impressive.

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      • August 27, 2014 at 18:22
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        @millwallhazza98: I think that was a bit harsh on Briggs mate, he needs some coaching in the final 3rd phase he gets up and down the pitch well looked a bit tired in the 2nd half but remember he isn't 1st team he is still developing to our style of play he'll come good As for Hoyte one of the most shocking performances I've seen for a long time I've given up on him based on that performance would rather see Siaffa get a run out NOLU WDC

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  • August 27, 2014 at 16:40
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    He's right he is close to the 1st team, every game he sits just behind the touchline, you can't get much closer than that.

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    • August 27, 2014 at 20:39
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      @Sealion: Hansen from Bradford is looking like a good player causing Leedscum all sorts of problems.

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      • August 27, 2014 at 21:35
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        @mitchamscaff: And it looks like he just knocked out Leedscum LOL

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  • August 27, 2014 at 17:13
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    It was a good performance and for 70 minutes we played good football against a Prem League team with our reserve team. I genuinely enjoyed the game and the performance. If our first team can put on similar style of play but with more experience and physical energy, Saturday will be a very good game!

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    • August 27, 2014 at 19:05
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      @glyngo: seriously thinking of never going to a league cup match again.while we got a manager playing with our money the way he does.bloody disgrace.what if it was chelsea or arsenal would he have done the same..the 1st team would not have been tired. either.sorry people but i''ve got the right hump

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      • August 27, 2014 at 19:25
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        @Jim28: I personally think it was the right move to give others the chance, yes Southampton are a prem team but not one we would get massive plaudits for beating. The league is far more important these days and that has to be the priority, IH made it clear that he would play fringe players well ahead of time so to forewarn fans to save their pennies if they wished to do so as many clearly did.

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        • August 28, 2014 at 00:21
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          @JonnyBanks: did you read the 2nd part of my post..and guess who we would of got in the next round bloody arsenal away

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      • August 27, 2014 at 23:08
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        @Jim28: I would agree with you if Ollie didn't hint he was going to put out the kids to start off with

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      • August 28, 2014 at 01:22
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        @Jim28: we could of won 3-0 with Gregory scoring a hat-trick you'd still have the f****** hump Jim haha classic jim28..

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    • August 27, 2014 at 23:32
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      @glyngo: I agree those kids and reserves did us proud against a perm team also put in a shift to give our first team a rest before Saturday's important game in the League which is far more important.

      Well played boys, they did not look much better than us 🙂

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  • August 27, 2014 at 19:05
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    "That's phenomenal. I believe he's going to score, he's just got to settle down and he will score. I was pleased with Marquis’ effort."
    While not disputing that Marquis put a lot of effort in last night, which was pleasing to watch, he can not play at this level. I am at a complete loss to understand how Gregory is going to settle down and score, when he never gets the chance to play. And when he does open his account with us, will he get the opportunity for more, or will he go back to watching our other "strikers" putting in a lot of "effort".

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  • August 27, 2014 at 20:08
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    On reflection I don't think Oli believed we could win that game, so why risk an injury to a key player in his mind perhaps.

    Personally I thought it was a waste not to put Gregory on I'm not to manager so leave that one to the Boss! If he is fresh for Saturday and scores the winner then there can be no complaints. If he sits on the bench all game then it's a shame he didn't get some time on the pitch.

    I have always wanted Marquis to do well, being a local lad and a fan of the club, but to improve he needs to be playing week in and week out and he can't do that with us. Let's get him loaned out as soon as possible - it's in everyone's best interests.

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    • August 27, 2014 at 20:21
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      @TURBO_COYL: If we were playing a lower league team where Gregory should score to a couple then I could understand the fuss being made but this was a game against top class, well drilled players who as it turned out gave us very little on terms of chances... How would that help the lads confidence?

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    • August 27, 2014 at 20:26
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      @TURBO_COYL: he played Williams & he's a key player I would of played greggs last sat & played fuller last night.

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      • August 27, 2014 at 20:29
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        @block 28: I would let Fuller sell programmes on Saturday and not allowed anywhere the pitch .

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      • August 27, 2014 at 20:29
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        @block 28: I would let Fuller sell programmes on Saturday and not allowed anywhere near the pitch .

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  • August 27, 2014 at 20:41
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    I'm still not a Holloway fan and for me he still has it ALL to prove. However, I think that a lot of the negativity and criticism toward him around last night is wide of the mark. He set his stall out early and told us all that he was going to give a chance to the fringe and young players. The League Cup has become a squad competition for Championship sides as the financial allure of the Premiership dictates survival at all costs in our league. Last night was a gamble on Holloway's part but to my mind it paid off. After watching last nights game my opinion was that every player could play a role in our squad, obviously some more than others, but nobody looked completely out of their depth. Seeing Powell perform as he did was a real bonus. O'Brien and Thompson got some valuable game time as did Chaplow, Briggs and Hoyte. None of whom should be written off just yet. Holloway would've learnt a huge amount from this 90 minutes about every player that took part, far more than he would learn about the same players in the reserves or dipping in and out of the first team squad. As for Gregory, he has jumped from non-league to the Championship, a huge gulf in class and defenders won't be giving up Sunday league goals like they do in the Conference, he needs to be given time. Ultimately, if at the end of October we are still around the middle of the league, nobody will give a damn about last nights game.

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    • August 27, 2014 at 22:29
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      @lion.ie: Fair point. I've got a lot of faith in Ollie and at the end of the day the academy has been neglected for quite some time. If we're not getting bigger gates there is only so much revenue sponsors are going to bring in. It's the home grown talent that if they are not going to get us promoted or up to scratch sell them on to generate money. Look at Brentford possibly selling Adam Forshaw for 4m even though he originally came from Everton he has been at Brentford for a few years from a very young age and with Ollie developing our youth he is stabalising the club long term which we need more than anything.

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  • August 27, 2014 at 21:17
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    There's a bit goin on inside Ollie's head isn't there! I love the bloke, I reckon he,s mad and if it pays off, there,l be no stopping us. He,s obviously got faith in the boys and can see the positives in them. Might be the odd bump in the road but. I definitely want to be on this baby!!! Let em come let em come let em come!!!

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  • August 27, 2014 at 22:23
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    Only if we won we would of played arsenal away

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    • August 27, 2014 at 22:32
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      @boblion: Arsenal away would've been a good day out shame about Leeds though LOL Hansen would be a welcome addition me thinks, doubt he will be to expansive.

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      • August 27, 2014 at 22:49
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        @mitchamscaff: Do you know what really REALLY grinds my gears..... The fact that Leeds have clearly kicked off and delayed the game yet sky practically break their necks not to show it!!! When it goes off with us the off the field incidents take precedence over the football, its so bias it's untrue. A Leeds fan clumped Chris Kirkland not to long ago and nothing happens, double standards.

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        • August 27, 2014 at 23:13
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          @JonnyBanks: 9 mins extra over those little babies kicking off cos they got dumped out by shitty Bradford and the co commentator was saying they put so much time on cos there was 3 goals in quick succession

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          • August 28, 2014 at 00:31
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            @mitchamscaff: its a wonder they didn't blame us

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        • August 28, 2014 at 09:11
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          @JonnyBanks: Fully agree Jonny, I tried to press the like button but it wouldn't work.

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  • August 27, 2014 at 23:35
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    Great performance form our reserves and youth players, Powell take a bow son. They all did us proud and put in a shift.

    I was a bit disapointed to see half our fans leave after the second goal… Our kids and reserves need support and to gain confidence, well done everyone who stayed to clap them off after.

    Remember our new motto….. Stronger Together!!!!!

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  • August 28, 2014 at 00:15
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    Bamford going to 'Boro, shame we can't seem to attract this quality of loanee anymore? As I said last night, a cheeky loan bid for James Wilson at Man U would be nice to see.......

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  • August 28, 2014 at 08:14
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    Am I reading to much into this, could we be the other club. http://www1.skysports.com/football/news/11682/9443095/transfer-news-wigan-face-competition-for-fc-tours-striker-andy-delort
    He wanted to come back to the Anoracks so likes the area?

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