Report: Millwall 0-0 Reading

MILLWALL battled to a well-earned point with ten men to halt their losing run.

The Lions' backs were against the wall after defender Sid Nelson was sent off on the stroke of half time but they dug deep to claim a deserved draw.

In fact, Ian Holloway's side had the best chance of the second period despite their numerical disadvantage when Jos Hooiveld's close-range header was tipped over.

Ian Holloway has questioned his players' spirit in recent weeks but they produced a rousing effort to repel waves of late pressure from the Royals.

Loan signing Hooiveld was handed his first Millwall start just 24 hours after joining from Southampton in one of two changes to the starting XI.

Shaun Williams was recalled to the side after a four-match suspension and partnered Jimmy Abdou in the centre of the Lions' midfield.

Diego Fabbrini, who was hugely impressive on his debut against Ipswich, began the game with a similar swagger.

His clever hold up play drew two early free kicks, the second of which he drove over the wall but straight into the arms of goalkeeper Adam Federici.

Pavel Pogrebnyak had Reading's first sight of goal but glanced a header wide from Nick Blackman's fizzing left-wing delivery.

A moment of brilliance from Fabbrini almost carved out the opening goal on the half-hour mark but, after the Italian danced past three defenders, his cross was claimed by Federici.

Lee Gregory went even closer to breaking the deadlock moments later when he collected Stefan Maierhofer's flick and drilled narrowly beyond the far post.

The better chances were falling the Lions' way but the visitors were seeing a lot more of the ball.

And at the end of a lengthy passing move, Hal Robson-Kanu powered a near-post header just wide.

The half looked to be petering out until Nelson's wild tackle on Michael Hector prompted referee Andrew Madley to brandish the red card.

Madley had blown his whistle for a foul a split-second before Nelson came crashing into the Royals defender, who was sent flying to the turf.

Down a man, Holloway decided to make a double change at the break, bringing on Paris Cowan-Hall for his debut and Alan Dunne to shore up the defence.

Reading went straight onto the front foot after the restart and Jordan Obita tested Forde with a bouncing half-volley which the 'keeper pushed away.

At the other end, Gregory guided Dan Harding's cross narrowly wide of the top corner with Federici scrambling across his line.

That chance brought the crowd to life and they saw Millwall go close again through Hooiveld, whose header from Shaun Williams' cross was tipped over.

Cowan-Hall and Williams then missed the target from distance as the Lions continue to create chances despite being a player short.

Tiredness became a factor as the minutes ticked by, however, and Millwall were forced deeper and deeper as Reading threw on fresh legs in search of a winner.

Substiute Simon Cox went closest to getting it but Forde, who was captain for the evening, was equal to his snapshot.

Alex Aldridge

(@accordingtoaldo)

88 thoughts on “Report: Millwall 0-0 Reading

  • January 27, 2015 at 22:02
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    Well the league table certainly doesn't look pretty, but we must take it one game at a time at this stage. Much better performance and shape of the team all round! Don't wanna say this too loudly but at 4/1 away at Forest, I have a slight feeling we can nick something this weekend... COYL

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  • January 27, 2015 at 22:09
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    Better spirit and our best result at home for well over two months. But tonight was yet another must win game and unfortunately we're going to need a lot more than scoreless draws at home to get out of this mess.

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    • January 27, 2015 at 22:23
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      @block9-chris: Handball, handball, handball handball handball....at least that gave people something to smile about this evening haha

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    • January 28, 2015 at 08:54
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      haha love it, nice to hear the crowd ain't lost it. Much better from wall and finally players to put smiles on our faces

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  • January 27, 2015 at 22:15
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    A clean sheet. Never mind the points we're behind. Enough games left. No Shittu or Woolford on the bench. Must be the next two to go. A striker of some value required. Overall, tonight was an improvement.

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  • January 27, 2015 at 22:20
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    Tonight was an improvement but call a spade a spade, the team isn't good enough. Even before Sid got sent off which was a very harsh decision, we had only mustered one shot on target. We struggled against a struggling team at home after a 10 day break with new signings and an air of optimism but once again we simply weren't good enough. People won't like this but it's time to face facts.

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    • January 27, 2015 at 22:33
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      @southlondon1885: Fair point. Look I think it is now evident that we have decided enough is enough and we are in full contingency mode and we are planning for relegation. I would like to think that staying up is preferable but let's face it we are not making the right noises for staying up and we are being force fed so much spin that just competing in games is to be seen as an accomplishment. Trust me the dye is cast.

      My pals best mate Steve Whitten was boss of Colchester Utd in the Lua Lua days and he had a firm brief to stay in league one even though they could do better as the business side of things would suffer through promotion with overheads and wages and so on. It happens and I believe it's happening with us now.

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      • January 27, 2015 at 22:47
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        @JonnyBanks: unfortunately people seem to think IH walks on water. He doesn't. He's had a year. We're worse now than under he who shall not be named. The team isn't good enough for thid league but I reckon some of those players would be exceptional league one players. Unfortunately though it's whether they'll stay on when we're relegated. It's very rare for a team to go down and bounce straight back up. It took us a good 5 years to rebuild last time. I find it so frustrating as IH came with so much promise which clearly many people still believe despite the awful statistics which categorically prove otherwise. I'm so gutted about the situation. I really thought this would be a season for consolidation in the league to then push on next season.

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        • January 27, 2015 at 22:59
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          @southlondon1885: Look I want us to do well but I can only think back to the time when this Charlatan was appointed. I monitor every player in training. I make sure every player is on board and has my beliefs. Nothing short of the Millwall way will do. Here we are multiple failures later and these ethics and standards that were required seem to have been brushed aside somehow??? If those were his standards and they were not adeared to by the team, HIS TEAM on multiple occasions then who is to blame? Spin doctor.

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          • January 27, 2015 at 23:18
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            @JonnyBanks: spot on. Tonight's ready made excuse will be the sending off.

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  • January 27, 2015 at 22:27
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    More spirit than usual but we need more,this group of players is not yet strong enough to gain the points required to stay up.A good centre forward is a neccessity,not sure about Harding but i thought big Jos was an improvment and pch was great in the air,would like to see us get the ball to his feet.We missed the composure of Mcdonald

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    • January 28, 2015 at 09:10
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      Sorry McDonald 17'000 a week , what a waste of space. U can't turn a team around over night , that was a 1000 times better tonight. But still lots of room for improvement.

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    • January 28, 2015 at 09:52
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      @JonnyBanks: you might just have a point jonny. When you think about, if this current squad were to avoid relegation, how many of the loan signings would still be here on loan next season, or how many would or could we buy. The first is unlikely and the second is even less likely as we are already coming unstuck with the FFP. This means we would start next season with an even weakened squad. Makes sense to get rid of your contracted players, and play the youth next season in div one.

      @norris:

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  • January 27, 2015 at 22:28
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    At last a clean sheet, so no defeat with much needed improvement at the back. Lets start nicking some one nils NOLU

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  • January 27, 2015 at 22:29
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    Yeah, some decent players there tonight, Paris and fabrini look very good , the Hoover was my m.o.n. Got to say it, dunne very good when he came on, credit where it's due. Personally ,I don't think sid is ready, looks a bit raw for such a big ask as this is gonna be, pity we can't find another Hoover from somewhere.

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    • January 27, 2015 at 22:54
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      @bordersarebest0170: Agree felt sorry for Sid ! These are big pressure games and we need big experience. A lot of pressure on young shoulders could ruin his confidence

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  • January 27, 2015 at 22:32
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    Positives from tonight. Paris and Fabrini. Paris looks very promising indeed. Handball!

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  • January 27, 2015 at 22:33
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    I enjoyed tonight. Spirited performance

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  • January 27, 2015 at 22:34
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    With the way things have been going recently, I'll take that draw.

    COYL!!!!!

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  • January 27, 2015 at 22:50
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    WELL DONE MILLWALL'S TEN PLAYERS! YOU DID THE MFC SHIRT PROUD. WE THE FANS ARE BECOMING HAPPY, AND CAN SEE THE 'LIGHT AT THE END OF THE DARK TUNNEL'.A COUPLE MORE NEW FACES AND WE ARE IN BUSINESS.REMEMBER, IN OLLIE WE TRUST! STORMIN' NORMAN IS CHEERING - UP NICELY.NO ONE LIKES US,WE DONT CARE.

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    • January 28, 2015 at 11:28
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      @bermlion: Yes, Stormin' , must agree that was Special! Great to watch the Millwall players & Fans having 'Fun' again ( HAND - BALL )LOL. Could not stop laughing when their Goal - Keeper picked the ball up, only for Lion fans to shout 'HANDBALL' . ( NOLU, WDC ). Made me forget my bad - head .

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  • January 27, 2015 at 22:57
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    All the players earned their wages tonight yes it were a must win game but lets not take anything away from the lads this draw gives us something to build on

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  • January 27, 2015 at 23:01
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    We don't have anybody in the top eight to play in our next seven games. Three at home, four away. I believe we would need a minimum of 13 points from these games to put us in a strong position to survive. Rotherham have four of the top eight and us in the same period. Leeds have three of the top six and us. Brighton have a similar run to us.
    In short, Saturday and February is where we need to get out of the deep hole we are in, we won't get away with it in the last eight games this season.

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    • January 28, 2015 at 10:26
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      @lion.ie: of course we could get away with it again in the last 8 games.

      As long as we're in touch with the team ahead of us a 10pt gap or so can easily be caught up with a winning run of results.

      It doesn't matter when you get the points just as long as you end up with more than 3 others by the end of the season.

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  • January 27, 2015 at 23:03
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    hooiveld was utterly class - easily MoM - shows how weak our centre backs have been - came closest to scoring

    gragory has to learn to be stronger - no connection with Hof yet - but it might come - I think we are only two players away from being competitive again - cant play jimmy and Williams as holding in same team , gives us nothing going forward - fab created little bits of space at times and never had any one to lay it off to and we lost possession - greg has to be stronger and come deep at the right times and link play - as Holloway says, still much to work on but if he can get two of the quality of Jos , we might do it - at least a team performance tonight

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  • January 27, 2015 at 23:03
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    Positive point! Paris looked very good and could become a very important player and we will have him beyond the season as well so a good player for the future! We played well tonight seem to be a bit more spirit in the team now. defended a bit better apart from Nelson card. I think we just need a few games to jel and fingers crossed we will go on a similar run like last season! Holloway has had a year now and we are where we was last season. So if we do stay up we need to have a strong mid-table finish next season otherwise we won't will be moving forward as a club yet again.

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  • January 27, 2015 at 23:11
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    What does everyone think off Cummings ?

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    • January 27, 2015 at 23:23
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      @hayley:
      dont want to criticise because tonight in the second half they all worked their bo##ocks off, but everytime reading went down either wing they got in a cross, every time, did not see a decent block or tackle by either full back until Harding right at the end.. i hope more matches will get them working at this. mind you cummings had no help in the first half from gueye!

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    • January 27, 2015 at 23:39
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      @hayley: there were a couple of occasions in the first half when he started bombing forwards only to stop, turn aroind and pass back. This issue has been synonymous with our players this season. It can only be their instructions from the boss to do this. Before the handball chants there were plenty of "forwards" shouts. So frustrating. Better howevrr than malone and briggs. He'll need more games to make an informed judgement though.

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  • January 27, 2015 at 23:15
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    Big well done to the team and the supporters tonight. Considering how we have been playing that was a lot better.
    Sid will learn from that. You don't have to hack someone down to show us how much you care about the club. I'm sure he wont be so reckless again in a hurry. He made a fantasdtic saving tackle in the first half and I really think he is a good prospect.
    Hooivelt looked exactly what we need at the back and is also a real threat from set pieces.
    Forde played well and made one blinding save to his left.
    Cummings looked alright and I thought Harding did very well and gets stuck in.
    Fabrinni is a class act and deserved the great reception he got when subbed.
    Hard for Cowan hall coming on in that situation. looks lightweight in the challenge to me but showed some promise too.
    Well done Alan Dunne coming in and doing what was needed.
    Good all round team performance and loved seeing the reception given to the team at the end.
    Your a classy old bunch of fans and I'm very proud to be one of you.
    Something to build on.
    We can still do this escape act but we are going to have to stick together.
    Up the Wall.
    P.S. Handball. Hilarious. Best suppoerters in the World.

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      • January 28, 2015 at 00:02
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        @southlondon1885:
        Handball; handball, handball handball handball handball.
        Wait up. Fordey picks the ball up on his six yard line. HANDBALL,. Superb stuff.

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      • January 27, 2015 at 23:43
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        @<a href="#comment-@JonnyBanks:
        Fred because Ithink he is destined for big things and I pray we go and offer him another 3 years on his contract before the usual happens.

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  • January 27, 2015 at 23:21
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    The full backs are both crap
    The forward line is non existant
    The manager is a joke
    Going down - absolute certainty

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    • January 27, 2015 at 23:33
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      @crow191049: its sad when millwall played some great stuff and you get people like you putting them down..go and watch charlton

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      • January 27, 2015 at 23:51
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        @crow191049: It's not sad @Jim28: Come on Jim. Tell the Crow where he is off the mark then? His bang on. We all hope it turns around but we can not keep dicing with relegation, everybody needs to pay the piper. We have tried it on WITHOUT anything close to resembling a striker for too long. We missed out on Lambert, Austin, Wood and God knows who else in recent years.

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        • January 28, 2015 at 00:36
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          @JonnyBanks: i was refering to the performance they put in.with only 10 men on you have to give them some credit

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          • January 28, 2015 at 11:21
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            @Jim28: agreed jim, the one thing millwall supporters demand over everything is a fighting spirit, and we got that last night. Is it enough to stay in this division? Who knows! And let's face it, we've diced with relegation more than promotion in our time so nothing new! If we go down, then so be it, but do it fighting, Miiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii

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    • January 28, 2015 at 08:42
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      @crow191049: shove your marquees up your arsse you miserable git !!! Handball !!

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  • January 27, 2015 at 23:25
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    Positives are that Williams played a whole game, Fabrini and hooiveld played well and Cowan-Hall looks very lively and we kept a clean sheet. Some comfort at least, but still need a striker and clear out the dead wood. Only a few days left now.

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    • January 27, 2015 at 23:45
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      @glyngo: True. And flip me sideways we have missed Williams of late. Do we not feel that we are already taking scant consolation such as effort and not losing AT HOME as acceptable? It's a long and dark path when WE TRIED, WE COMPETED and WE GOT A POINT at home was considered a result. The mindset has shifted as the likes of AA hoped it would. Would Kitch, Cripps, Hurlock, even Cahill suffer it?

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      • January 28, 2015 at 07:34
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        @JonnyBanks: no Jonny none of them would accept it and neither should we in the long term. However we find ourselves without a win in 13 games and on a long losing streak, so these positives are worth remembering to build some belief.

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  • January 27, 2015 at 23:37
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    Agree with most - Hooiveld could be a very important signing if we are to stay up. Organised the defence superbly. Biggest negative for me; Lee Gregory looks increasingly out of his depth at this level. We MUST bite the bullet and buy / loan a striker who could possibly get us 10 goals before the end of the season to stand any chance.

    PS - Heard from a reliable source, Shittu, Woolford and Chaplow are the latest to be told they have no future at Millwall and are free to leave

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    • January 27, 2015 at 23:46
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      @Adsy77777:
      yes i heard the same tonight from a 'reliable source' also. if we are serious about staying up we have got to get a proven striker in. and i would like to see a 'trotter type player when he played well, someone in midfield who is a threat going forward, i would like to see upson given a run alongside williams, but who knows with holloway!!

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      • January 28, 2015 at 07:37
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        @rowanonthewing7: chaplow/Woolford are very similar players so strange that he would let both go, always good to have one utility man available. As for Shittu, writing has been on the wall since last season. Age has finally caught up with him.

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  • January 27, 2015 at 23:42
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    The best Millwall performance since the 2nd 1/2 recovery vs Wolves. Shame about the Rotherham result tonight but more positive of us picking up some wins COYL
    Handball, handball,handball,handball

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  • January 27, 2015 at 23:55
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    To all the moaning fannies on suicide watch. Stop. Not tonight please. It's only a point yeah but the effort put in by the side was clear. I'd say the new signings gave a good account and we now have something g to build on.

    Pretty sure this board has been compromised by a few Nigel's and Trainspotters!!

    UP THE WALL!!!

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    • January 28, 2015 at 00:05
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      @bigC:
      Yes mate. I walked out proud tonight.
      UP THE WALL.

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  • January 28, 2015 at 00:06
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    Well done boys. Millwall spirit. Onwards and upwards

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  • January 28, 2015 at 00:14
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    Watching that tonight made me feel a lot more positive for the rest of the season.
    Sid made a mistake and will learn from it, Hooiveld was superb! Him and Fabbrini had a great game but all of them put in a shift tonight, gueye had a bit of a mate but PCH was great when he came on, even dunney was solid.

    Positive, Good chances and some actual passion! The players were really up for it tonight
    That's more like it wall!

    HANDBALL !!!!

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  • January 28, 2015 at 00:18
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    Green shoots of recovery were spotted this evening. With a settled group I believe we can get out of trouble.
    #yeswecan

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    • January 28, 2015 at 09:14
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      @eio: Great post, that's exactly right. We can't suddenly expect to start winning games after the losing streak we have been on, but improved performances and cleans sheets are a start. Now we need consistency in performance and selection.

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  • January 28, 2015 at 00:18
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    Green shoots of recovery were spotted this evening. With a settled group I believe we can get out of trouble.

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  • January 28, 2015 at 00:48
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    So this c*** dives and tries to get a pk yellow card and then nelson goes in 4 his challenge witch is a yellow card if that then this guy runs over slaps/punches nelson red card but finishes the game with no cards f*** off ref. N1LU.. Gregg's shoots keeper saves it shurley that's handball and a pk 2 us lol. HANDBALL.

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  • January 28, 2015 at 03:56
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    Last season Forrest away was the turning point and I still feel Forrest away will be the turning point but can olu see it if we sign a striker then there is a sliver of hope of us scoring goals. A clean sheet could be deemed as this being the turning point but fixing one end won't fix the other.

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    • January 28, 2015 at 04:06
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      @spartacus: I also think forest will be the turning point 4 wall. Betfred got decent odds going. Both teams 2 score millwall to win 8/1

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  • January 28, 2015 at 05:52
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    Yeh fark it, I feel like we,l stay up. Things are on the. Improve and if the team can stay mostly 2geva for a few weeks in a row they,l start to get a better system and understanding of each other and what's required.cheers to you all for getting down there and supporting them week in week out.

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  • January 28, 2015 at 07:17
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    Yes it's refreshing to see s bit of gumption BUT if home draws and showing a bit of spunk in a 1-3 home loss to Ipswich floats your boat then I suggest you get used to the idea of playing in League One. The Den used to bs a fortress yet IH has spun it to the point where effort from the players is enough these days. The effort should be a prerequisite as Millwall players ffs.

    It's all twisted by the farmer and people on here seem happy with the 'players working hard and trying'.

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    • January 28, 2015 at 08:27
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      @JonnyBanks: I'm quite sure that Holloway is not the manager that Millwall need. It's obvious though that the boardroom see him in situ to see out his contract. Some really bad results, a clear-out 6 months early and some revamps in the coaching areas are proof of that If that's the stance of the boardroom then there is nothing you or I can do about it.
      The positives are that the players who have now gone were the right ones to go. Personally, I've agreed with Holloway about who's been booted out. It looks like Dunne will stay but I'm sure we haven't seen the end of the departures. My money is on Chaplow, Shittu and Woolford to be next through the door. What we do need is a tenacious ball winning midfielder to play alongside Williams. A new strike force as well is required but I can't see anyone of any note signing on given our precarious league position. The best we can hope for a striker to come in on loan and if the past is anything to go by, that will not make a lot of difference.

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  • January 28, 2015 at 07:35
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    lets be positive new players a point at home ok we needed a win but didn't lose yes were five points a drift but that's two games all we need now is some one who can stick it in the net at least IH is dealing with the players who don't want to be at the den lets back him and the players like we did last season we lost 3-0 to reading last season . nolu

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  • January 28, 2015 at 08:39
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    Handball!!!
    I walked away happy last night.
    It was a spirited 10 man performance.
    It's a pity Sid was sent off as it ruined the balance of the game.
    Hooiveld is a quality CB, Fabrinni is very good on the ball, Harding can put a tackle in when needed, Cummings can do it at this level and Cowan-Hall needs to start the next match.
    I think the new line up can gel into a good team.
    The Hof is not the answer up front neither is Fuller.
    We need a decent CF to partner Gregory.
    Force appears to have his confidence back and made some good saves.
    Even Alan Dunne came on and did a good job.
    Let's hope that we can build on this performance with no goals conceded.

    Handball!!!!

    You can never beat the Millwall humour.

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  • January 28, 2015 at 09:12
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    Want hollway to get it right, but it's nearly feb no decent striker don t no what he was thinking back in sept Gregory and fuller and hoff are never gonna get the goals to get us out of this to much pressure on rest of team were still be there next season whatever it's frustrating cause everyone knows the problem

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    • January 28, 2015 at 09:17
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      @den55: We have only played with two wingers twice, I still think Greggs and the Hoff will start scoring now we have some quality balls going into the box. This team will settle into a rhythm if Ollie lets it happen.

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  • January 28, 2015 at 09:20
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    Sorry guys i just got back from holiday this morning and completely missed the game last night. Whats the Handball business all about?

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    • January 28, 2015 at 10:12
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      @wolla5:
      The Reading fans appealed for hanball about 3 times in 1 minute.
      Lame appeals. Was never in a million years handball for any of them so we took the p*** by claiming handball for everything.
      Quality.

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  • January 28, 2015 at 09:41
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    @wolla5: HI WOLLA5, YOU WOULD HAVE ENJOYED THE MATCH ATMOSPHERE, THE PLAYERS WERE GREAT, ONE OF THEIR PLAYERS HANDLED THE BALL, REF DOES NOT GIVE IT, MILLWALL FANS ALL SEE IT AND SHOUT,'HANDBALL' THIS STARTED THE "FUN" SINGING AND SHOUTING OF 'HANDBALL' FOR MOST OF THE NEXT 20MINS, BRILLIANT! SHOULD CATCH- ON AS ONE OF LIONS FANS SPECIAL 'CHANTS' HOME & AWAY MATCHES.NO ONE LIKES US, WE DONT CARE." STORMIN' NORMAN" SAYS IT WAS ONE OF OUR BEST GAMES.

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    • January 28, 2015 at 10:09
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      @bermlion: excellent lol. hopefully someone managed to get a video of some of it and sticks it on youtube.

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  • January 28, 2015 at 10:24
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    Really pleased with the additions and improvements, but what was I noticed was the way we were getting overrun in midfield. If we are gonna play 442 we have only 2 centre midfielders in there coming up against normally 3 of the oppositions. So we need something really special in there to make up for our lack of numbers to graft, tackle, and pass. We need to move heaven and earth to sign RUDI AUSTIN, or someone very similar.

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  • January 28, 2015 at 11:09
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    Some of the doom & gloom merchants expect two much two soon. Yes we needed a win & with eleven players on the pitch looked like we could get it. With six new players it will take a couple of more games to gel. Well done good start. Roll on forest.

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    • January 28, 2015 at 13:49
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      @block 28: exactly an instant impact is unrealistic.

      Last night I saw a much improved defensive display which is what we need to be doing in all our remaining games.

      Of course a quality striker, even if just on loan, would help us out no end. But if you can make life difficult for the opposition and not concede it at least gives the chance of nicking a game by the odd goal.

      Plenty of points still up for grabs!

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  • January 28, 2015 at 11:20
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    Fabbrini and Paris both look exciting. I like Gregory but just feel that someone else could do the job up top better.
    Team idea for forest..
    Forde
    Cummings Hoo Beevers Harding (not sure if eligible)
    Williams Abdou
    Paris Fabbrini Gueye
    Gregory/Fuller ??

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  • January 28, 2015 at 11:35
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    Team for Forest (Assuming Harding is ineligible)
    4-4-2 but would ask Jimmy to play a bit deeper so maybe a 4-1-3-2
    Forde
    Cummings-Beevers-Hooiveld-Williams
    Fabbrini-Abdou-Powell-Gueye
    Gregory-Maierhoffer

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  • January 28, 2015 at 12:24
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    Good performance from the boys last night, I was pleased with the togetherness and back bone of the team. However points are becoming a must and 0-0 draws at home to opposition that are not too far in front of us is not good enough. We have not got time to be in transition . Its now or never unfortunately. I cant see us getting a goal with Gregory and hof upfront to be honest, Holloway needs to stop with the 'fans were great' speeches too when the most noise we made was for a joke handball claim. Nelson like i said yesterday is too inexperienced and his sending off may come as a blessing in disguise for us. On the plus PCH looks lively lets hope that continues, Fabrini looks like a cut above the rest and if Hoover can have a partnership with beevers that could really help us. i think.

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  • January 28, 2015 at 17:08
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    Its too little too late...2wins in 24 games Holloway has took us down....the on loan players will leave and we will start next season with a slim chance of promotion,,,Holloway will go and we will be well rid of him ....the truth hurts sometimes

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