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Millwall boss defends changes to tactics and starting XI

© Millwall FC
© Millwall FC

IAN Holloway says he will continue to mix up his tactics and starting line-up.

The Lions boss has dismissed the "myth" that continuity is the only route to success.

Millwall's XI and formation has regularly changed from game to game, and Holloway insists it would be a mistake to blindly stick with the same team after a draw or defeat.

So until the Lions are challenging at the top end of the Championship table, he will keep tweaking his set up.

"Sir Alex Ferguson never picked the same team twice – hardly ever," Holloway said.

"We are not Manchester United but if we do not aspire to think like them, then what are we ever going to achieve?

"Bristol City have picked the same team over and over again and they're flying in League One. That's continuity and that's fine if your team wins every week.

"If your team isn't winning, are you going to pick the same team again? For me, it's a myth."

Rather than worry about keeping a settled side, Holloway wants his players to be flexible so that they can adapt to different opponents and situations within games.

He added: "You have to make sure everybody in the squad knows their job and what they should be doing.

"If you go behind in the Championship, you've got to learn different tactics otherwise you'll never break teams down.

"Every team is very good at getting two banks of four in defence. When we were 3-0 down to Wolves, Kenny Jackett actually put five in midfield and we had to break down nine players.

"Luckily for me, I've learned how to do that sometimes. But I said to a fan after the game, 'if we'd started in that formation we'd have been hammered'.

"We will practise things over and over again. And whatever we practise, every player does it. Whether you're in favour or out of favour, I get you doing what's right.

"The best managers in the world train all of their players in the same way and every player will know four or five different formations.

"The top players in the world can switch from formation to formation without any excuses. Whereas the England national team can't! And those are our top players.

"But the Dutch know how to do it. We had a bloke in on trial the other week, John Goossens, and he knew exactly what I was talking about.

"He was quite good but we got him in the wrong year. If this was next year, I'd have taken him because I'd have more of the budget to play with."

Goossens has since signed for Indian Super League outfit FC Pune City.

Alex Aldridge

(@accordingtoaldo)

18 thoughts on “Millwall boss defends changes to tactics and starting XI

  • October 31, 2014 at 12:05
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    Why dont we stick with our best team let them gel and let teams worry about our formation. I dont remember man utds treble winning team change an awful lot unless they had players out.

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      • October 31, 2014 at 15:08
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        @benzo: I read above and thats why i posted.

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    • October 31, 2014 at 12:59
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      let@LETEMCOME:
      Correct LETEMCOME, here we f****** go again Why can we not just keep a winning side.

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  • October 31, 2014 at 12:25
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    Could work, but in general I do think sticking with one set of tactics and letting it gel over time into something strong whilst having a Plan B or C in mind would be a better idea. Changing the team and tactics each week shows a lack of continuity which is key in a team sport

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    • October 31, 2014 at 14:59
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      @marknorman3: If there was a critism of Kenny, it was that he didn't always have a Plan B to change things. Despite what he says, sometimes Ollie seems to go to the other extreme with too many changes of tactics, formations and players.

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  • October 31, 2014 at 12:27
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    IH seems a bit too defensive of his ever changing team selection and at times his off the wall tactics.
    It may be old fashioned - and not very trendy - but I firmly believe in 4 4 2 - and playing a settled side.
    From where I sit at times after a substitution - sometimes the players dont even know themselves what they are supposed to be doing.
    Still need a forward...........................
    PC

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    • October 31, 2014 at 17:39
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      @crow191049:

      About a decade ago I got tired of the 4-4-2 and firmly believed that Barca's tiki taki 4-3-3 was the future of football. Having since seen the United States (my country) and Millwall switch to what they call 4-3-3 (really 4-5-1) I can say I thoroughly dislike it. You never have enough people in the box and if you don't have phenomenal movement by wingers & central midfields who are also sharp passers, the big lump up top is completely stranded.

      Then fans predictably turn on the lone striker who cant seem to get a good ball sent to him and spends the entire 90 minutes battling with two central defenders with his back to the goal.

      4-5-1 or 4-3-3 whatever you call it doesn't work well if you're not Barcelona.

      I'll take back my 4-4-2 with diamond midfielder and classic #10 playmaker any day of the week please.

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  • October 31, 2014 at 12:27
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    A dutch man knows what your talking about..says it all

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  • October 31, 2014 at 12:59
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    I must have had a poor education then IH. It turns out that Bob Paisley and Bill Shankly went the wrong way about winning as many trophies as you could throw at them. Every day is a schoolday.

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  • October 31, 2014 at 13:06
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    ollie you still change the team when we win you praise a player then drop him surly you stick to a winning team if a player drops form or injured you change that player the only time I noticed top teams change is cup games or give a player a rest not every week I also agree with crow191049 we should play 442

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  • October 31, 2014 at 13:06
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    "Bristol City have picked the same team over and over again and they're flying in League One. That's continuity and that's fine if your team wins every week.
    "If your team isn't winning, are you going to pick the same team again? For me, it's a myth."

    On the basis that we have just won a game I assume it will be the same side Saturday as last week then - apart from the left back position ? Who knows we may end up winning every week !

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  • October 31, 2014 at 14:24
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    So Ollie - when you say "Sir Alex Ferguson never picked the same team twice – hardly ever," Fergie did pick the same team twice !!

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  • October 31, 2014 at 15:52
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    I remember in the old days we had a 1st team and a reserve team playing in the Football Combination. We played the same 1st team week in week out unless a player was injured and you knew he would be replaced by the reserve who played in his position in the Football Combination. How did players like Cripps and Kitchener chalk up so many games in their careers? Because they were always in the team unless they were injured!!!

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    • October 31, 2014 at 19:14
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      @denslions: blimey even I don't remember that. The lowest I have seen the lions play is third division (and latterly division 1). I've only followed them since the 60's though.

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  • October 31, 2014 at 19:27
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    Leicester won the championship with 12 players playing 26 or over games 9 playing over playing over 30 championship games. I think it's been proved over the year that team consistentancy, come from a settled sided, changes being made only for injuries, loss of form ,or suspensions.
    IH is the manger his job is on the line, so he must take responsibility for tatics and team selection lets hope for all our sakes he gets it right.

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  • October 31, 2014 at 23:01
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    Sorry Ollie, I like you fella, but you talk too much for me. You tinker too much as well, by the way

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  • October 31, 2014 at 23:02
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    Sorry Ollie, I like you m8, but you talk too much for me. You tinker too much as well, by the way

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