Millwall boss: Bailey eager to play his part during run-in

© Millwall FC
© Millwall FC

NICKY Bailey is determined to come back from injury and "help like he did last year" but boss Ian Holloway cannot put an exact timescale on the midfielder's return.

Bailey, who has been sidelined since September with a troublesome calf, played 45 minutes for the U21s in a 7-3 win over Bristol City on Monday.

The 30-year-old is likely to play a few more development games before he can be involved in a first-team fixture.

Holloway is a huge fan of Bailey and believes he made a critical contribution to Millwall's successful battle against relegation 12 months ago.

"It was good to see him playing again," Holloway said.

"He did 45 minutes and played very, very well. He stayed to watch the second half so that he could encourage the lads.

"I find him to be a fantastic bloke. We wouldn't still be in the Championship if it wasn't for Bailey.

"Hopefully I can get him fit for at least a few games later on. We shouldn't be promising things but that would be like signing another player.

"If we can get him to 60 minutes and then to 90 for the U21s, then he should be ready to come back in. We've been very careful with him because his injury was complicated.

"He wants to come back and help like he did last year."

Holloway has challenged Aiden O'Brien to break into his starting XI after the 21-year-old bagged a hat-trick in the U21s' thrashing of the Robins.

"Aiden should be able to get into my team," said the Lions boss.

"I've refused to loan him out because I believe he should be good enough to play for us.

"If he runs away from the ball like he should, then he could play in either one of the wide positions."

Alex Aldridge

(@accordingtoaldo)

17 thoughts on “Millwall boss: Bailey eager to play his part during run-in

  • February 20, 2015 at 10:52
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    not many u21 games coming up , if he needs another two or three that would take him well in to end of march ,
    could be over and done by then .
    these next three are massive , two teams near us and the other team out of form .

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  • February 20, 2015 at 11:04
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    Hope all goes well and he does come back into the side, was my MOTM for all 8 games last season in the run in, was a crucial component to our side. However, despite all the signings we have made on loan Tonge does add the insurance if Bailey doesn't make it back as he is a like for like player.

    On a different note, how desperate are we in signing Taylor-Fletcher, I ironically joked this while up Leeds that because we tried to sign Varney that at least we have gone in for Taylor-Fletcher yet! ..And sure enough.. I can understand most of Holloway's signings however this is the first I trully question, I'm sure he will come in and do a shift for us but it begs the question of why get rid of McDonald for another short term replacement? Might of well have just kept him until the end of the season...

    Oh well, roll on tomorrow, hopefully a few more of us there and we get 3 points at home in a London Derby!

    COYL... And also.. OHHH DIEGO FABBRINI :)

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  • February 20, 2015 at 11:09
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    Missed him!!!! This the problem with older players recovery time takes longer

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  • February 20, 2015 at 11:12
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    I like the idea of O'Brien starting on the wing, sure he won't be consistent every game but he can certainly contribute to a team performance tomorrow.

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  • February 20, 2015 at 11:12
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    We have missed Bailey IMO, but holloway does my head in, this quote about O'Brien, "If he runs away from the ball like he should, then he could play in either one of the wide positions.", does he mean as a winger?, He complicates football so much as far as i'm concerned !!! perhaps its just me !

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    • February 20, 2015 at 11:33
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      @rowanonthewing7: You're right and I think over-complicating it is a common thing in football nowadays, maybe if we were up there challenging for a play off place and had a team full of confidence then they'd be open to some tactical variety to give us an edge in some crucial games. But right now we're fighting for our lives and you do worry that the players' morale is so brittle they'd be far happier playing a simple, direct game plan - the kind of thing that got us safe in that 8 game run-in last season. We'll have to wait and see.

      On the subject of Gary Taylor Fletcher, I found this article from last summer, a quote from GTF:
      "The gaffer knows he can play me in midfield, in a three, I think one of things with having me on the pitch is he can change the formation easily as I can play in a number of positions."

      There's quite a few fan comments on there, not all of it complimentary(!) but this one stood out:
      "Despite his stature GTF has some of the silkiest and deftest of touches in the squad. He can hold the ball up, play one touch football and has the vision to deliver it long. He seems to be well balanced when receiving the ball which gives him a split second more time to control the ball and spot the pass. Chris Wood would do well to study videos of GTF at work, if he could learn those skills he would be a far better player. GTF should really mentor him."

      Here's the full article (sorry if it's already been posted, didn't go through all the comments on the GTF story)

      http://www.leicestermercury.co.uk/33-make-impact-flight/story-21965578-detail/story.html

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  • February 20, 2015 at 11:13
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    Surely the best way back to fitness would be coming off the bench for the first team for 30mins and building up from there!!

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  • February 20, 2015 at 11:18
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    Holloway mentions O'Brien adapting to be able to play in one of the wide positions. How about putting him where he is obviously playing and scoring well and stick 2 up front. Also another 3 of our youngsters signed pro deals yesterday, forgive me for spelling names wrong, but Philpot, Farrel and Twardek.

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  • February 20, 2015 at 11:21
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    on monday he was blowing out of his a*** after 30 mins , made a couple of late tackels cos of this ,gave away free kicks ,conceded a goal through this .
    can,t afford this in first team .

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  • February 20, 2015 at 11:39
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    Don't know why we are talking bailey he's only trying to get another contract. Loser get rid

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    • February 20, 2015 at 13:57
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      @block 28: yes, You are probably right Block28, he has not helped us when we needed him most ! ( NOLU , WDC. ).

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  • February 20, 2015 at 11:54
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    O brien is a centre forward Ollie not a winger......thats the problem with Ollie playing players out of position and making them look bad.....Bailey is 2 stone overweight so forget him this season...Ollie for gods sake keep it simple play 4 4 2 and stop trying to be Mourinho your ego is killing our team....

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  • February 20, 2015 at 12:21
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    Bailey doesn't look overweight in this picture above. I admit he looked off the scale at the start of the season, which probably contributed to the injury issues. If he can contribute for the run-in that will undoubtedly help but I don't think we can afford to give him another contract as he is not fit for long enough.
    Apparently GTF has signed. Let's give him the benefit of the doubt people

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  • February 20, 2015 at 16:58
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    f*** off Bailey you useless feeble Charlton tart...... I don't know when he will return. The blokes an embarrassment.

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    • February 20, 2015 at 23:39
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      @Lincolnshire Lion: Couldn't agree more. Perfectly summed up. How this bloke is still wearing our shirt would confuse even Sherlock Holmes.

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