Millwall manager encouraged by "sharper" forward line

© Millwall FC
© Millwall FC

IAN Holloway wants to see a repeat of Millwall's "sharper" attacking play against Leeds tomorrow following a confident performance in the final third at Birmingham.

The Lions carved out several clear-cut chances at St Andrew's and although it took a header from a set piece to win the game, Holloway was encouraged by what he saw.

The physical stats of his players also painted a much brighter picture.

"The whole forward line looked a lot sharper," said Holloway.

"We stretched their defence, the timings of our runs were much better and our movement off the ball was exactly what I'm looking for.

"Martyn Woolford ran 13.2km, Stefan Maierhofer was about 10km, Lee Martin and Diego Fabbrini were 12km and my two midfielders ran just as far.

"Those are the stats you need. Martin also did 109 sprints, which was fantastic.

"I've been encouraging the lads to make more runs to give our defenders and midfielders something to aim at.

"All of that made Fabbrini look a really good player because we created space for him. Our forward runs have been poor recently, especially at home, but Fabbrini can run in behind.

"He also knows when to close down and how to press. Hopefully, the decision to let Scott McDonald go and bring Diego in will bear fruit in the end.

"Unfortunately we didn't take more of an advantage – we deserved more goals but we didn't make it any easier for ourselves."

Maierhofer is set to keep his place in the side at Elland Road after spearheading the attack against the Blues.

"We need his persona," added Holloway.

"He's a big, confident person. His role in the team is to disrupt the opponent's back four, knock things down for other people and work hard for the team.

"He looks a lot fitter than he did last season and his understanding with the players around him will get better. His sort of player can be a real handful for defenders."

Holloway will be forced into at least one change at Leeds, with midfielder Michael Tonge ineligible to face his parent club.

Jimmy Abdou, Ed Upson and Angel Martinez are jostling to fill Tonge's place in the side.

"It's a straight choice between those three," said Holloway. "Angel is over his injury now and he played next to Shaun Williams when we won away at Brighton.

"Nobody has seen the best of him yet. He's played 100 games in La Liga and I know how good he can be. I'll pick a team that's right to win this game."

Alex Aldridge

(@accordingtoaldo)

32 thoughts on “Millwall manager encouraged by "sharper" forward line

  • February 13, 2015 at 12:12
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    Another away win 3PTS. COYL

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  • February 13, 2015 at 12:19
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    Hope IH is not saying in a roundabout way that we are OK upfront now and do not need a goalscorer.

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    • February 13, 2015 at 12:42
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      @Longfield Lion: It is worrying but I attend to agree, as there's been no mention of possible names to come in..... Oh well set piece and a defender to score lol!!

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    • February 13, 2015 at 18:04
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      @Longfield Lion: no goals anywhere in this team , worst attacking line up for years . A striker who can't score up front on his own with 5 non goal scoring midfielders behind him , glad ollies happy .

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