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 12:19
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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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    • February 13, 2015 at 12:24
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      @benzo: think the weeds fans will get on jimmys back after scoring the goal that knocked weeds out of the play off place.

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      • February 13, 2015 at 15:49
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        @John: Jimmys due another goal, what better place to get another and drag Leeds into the relegation fight.

        Another 1-0 away win for the Lions!

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  • February 13, 2015 at 12:23
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    If we keep scoring and winning , we' ll be happy enough anyway.Having said that we do seem to do well verses the 'WEEDS ' lately ! ( NOLU, WDC ).

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  • February 13, 2015 at 12:40
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    Leeds are not all that this season so stick Upson or Martinez in that midfield and go for it.
    Up The Wall.

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  • February 13, 2015 at 12:41
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    Fabbrini for Macdonald who do you prefer? Fab for me by a mile!!

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    • February 13, 2015 at 12:50
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      @dpendet: I really like Fab, a breath of fresh air but for all the runs, taking players on, etc there needs to be productivity.
      If he assists plenty and scores a few fantastic, if he runs rings round 5 players with no end product its a waste.
      He will provide and score though so no worries there.

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  • February 13, 2015 at 12:45
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    I don't know, Valentine's day and no Tonge's allowed.
    Sorry.

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  • February 13, 2015 at 12:47
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    just need how to teach Hoff how to jump and win headers against people 1 foot shorter than him

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    • February 13, 2015 at 14:53
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      @brooker: I know what you mean Brooker, but if the players realise he is not very good in the air, stop giving him that type of ball ! To his feet is a much better ball for him so that he can bring players into the game. The old saying goes you can't teach an old dog new tricks

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    • February 13, 2015 at 20:25
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      @brooker:

      Pantomime season ends soon, when is Snow Whites friends available to play for the opposing team so that Hoff could out jump them.

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  • February 13, 2015 at 12:56
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    On Tuesday afternoon my father - life-long Millwall fan, part-time season ticket holder, and full time raconteur - passed away suddenly. A few hours later, Millwall won at Birmingham for the first time since I was born. Clearly my dad quickly had a word with the big man upstairs and set him straight about a few things so we now have him on our side and ty rest of the season will be a breeze.
    On behalf of Stanley Scott I would like to send a resounding MMMIIIIIIIIILLLLLLLLLLLLL to you all, especially those in Block 17
    RIP dad xxxxx

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    • February 13, 2015 at 13:03
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      @hastingslion: Sorry to hear about your dad. My dad passed away in the early hours of Saturday 1 November and we lost to Watford. Sounds like your dad has a bit more influence with the man above.

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    • February 13, 2015 at 13:50
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      @hastingslion: sorry too hear your loss mate, 3 big ones tomorrow for your dad, lost my dad in June last year, all the best

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  • February 13, 2015 at 12:57
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    Scrappy 1 - 0 win to the lions with Jimmy getting the winner.

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  • February 13, 2015 at 13:39
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    This does look like a roundabout way of saying we are ok up front. Personally I disagree. I don't really care how far each player has run or how many miles they've covered. What is important is that we've played 30 and scored 28. While the last match has shown a bit more bite up front I can't relax until the goal to game ratio improves. Before we get carried away remember the second half of Huddersfield against 10 men where we posed no threat up front at all. I still think we need to loan a striker from somewhere in all honesty. We will beat dirty Leeds though! Miiiii

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  • February 13, 2015 at 14:44
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    The distance travelled and sprints stats can be misleading. . . There was a feature on it on motd or something the other day

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    • February 13, 2015 at 14:59
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      @sadlier89: what the km buissness..perhaps aldo will include it in his graph....alex i was joking mate

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  • February 13, 2015 at 15:00
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    Holloway we have just started to show signs of improvement and I have defended you this far. But the
    Reason for the improvement upfront is confidence spreading from our improved defence and midfield but we're only winning 1-0 here and there we have the worst goal difference with the exception of maybe Wigan and blackpool so we DO need to improve our forward line. So don't get fooled into a false sense of security Huddersfield is a prime example 1-1 and 1 man up yet if we concede any more the confidence goes we know we're very unlikely to score anymore and we'll lose. So get another top quality striker in get the goal difference up and get us safer please.

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