Former Millwall striker Claridge to apply for manager's post

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STEVE Claridge has confirmed that he wants to be the next Millwall manager.

Claridge, who scored 29 goals during two spells with the club as a player, was appointed as Lions boss in June 2005 but infamously sacked after 36 days.

The ex-striker now works as a pundit for the BBC but believes the time is right to make the return to management as Steve Lomas' successor.



"I think it is right now for me to do something like this," Claridge said. "I do what I do in the media, it's sustained by it doesn't satisfy.

"I've got all of my coaching badges, I'm on the elite coaching course and it just feels right.

"I've got an inside knowledge of the club which is really important. Each club I played for during my career was different but Millwall is different in a different way.



"When I played for the club I'd like to think the fans saw a bit of themselves in me. I was suited to the club so I understand what it takes and what is required from the players and the manager."

While Claridge is well-known for his work in the media, he is also quick to stress that he runs two successful coaching academies and helps to educate the next generation of coaches.

And he believes his knowledge of the game makes him qualified to take The Den hotseat.

"Whenever I have spare time I get out and watch games even when I'm not working. I know the team inside out and I've been staying on top of things.

"I spent most of my career playing in the Championship – it's a division that I watch more than any other, so I have massive interest and knowledge about each of the teams.

"I didn't play 1,200 games not knowing what I was doing. People focus on the light-hearted side of me and, yes, I had fun and enjoyed myself, but I was a good professional as well.

"I've kept abreast of everything that's happened at the club so this wouldn't be a fact-finding mission for me. I know what I'd have to work with and that the budget is pretty much taken up.

"People might mention lack of experience but that in itself is not an indicator of success or failure.

"When I was given time to do a job properly, I took Weymouth from 17th to 2nd in the Conference. That wasn't a level that I'd played at and the Championship would be far more familiar to me."

Claridge was an interested spectator as Millwall were hammered 4-0 by Watford on Boxing Day, a result that proved fatal for Lomas.

"Obviously the early sending off doesn't do you any favours," he said. "I'm not sure playing Jermaine Easter out wide was for me.

"If you're going to play with three up front, you need to go with two wingers and a striker.

"Very few players lack passion but plenty lack belief. That's what it looked like to me.

"I can count on one hand the number of players I've met who don't want to win or care.

"But sometimes they can lack a bit of belief and that might come across as a lack of passion, but it's not. That's possibly what we're seeing now.

"That is something that can be rectified. There is work to be done and lots of things need correcting, but there is enough to go on.

"People say this is the best squad Millwall have had in a long time, but I'm not sure about that. It might have been if you'd taken some of those players back in time three years.

"It might be the biggest budget in the club's history and the most experienced squad, but are these players playing to the best of their ability? If they are, why are Millwall in this situation?"

At the very least Claridge would like the opportunity to pitch himself to the Den board.

"Perception in football is nine tenths of the law, and for me the perception is very different from the reality," he said.

"It would be vitally important to me that I get the chance to have a face-to-face interview and put across exactly who I am and how I can help the club.

"What you want and what you get are two totally different things, but it would be nice if I could get that chance."

Claridge already has one thing going for him in that he is popular with the supporters.

But he added: "I don't want to get the job because the fans like me, although that helps, I want the job because I feel I am capable of doing it.

"I wouldn't want it for sentimental reasons, I want it because people believe I can do it."

Eight years ago, Claridge was sacked barely a month after taking charge at Millwall.

His departure swiftly followed the resignation of chairman Jeff Burnige, who had appointed him, and was instigated by director Theo Paphitis.

"It is not unfinished business because I did not even get started last time," Claridge said. "What happened last time was nothing short of a disgrace, but I'm a big boy and moved on.

"What disappointed me wasn't Theo's decision, that was his prerogative, it was the manner in which he did it. It felt almost personal at times.

"There is a right way and a wrong way to do things, and that wasn't the right way."

It is understood Claridge would want Steve Guppy and Steve Walford, who are both working as part of the Republic of Ireland set up, to join his staff if he got the job.

Claridge would also want Neil Harris to be an important part of his team.

Staff

(@NewsAtDen)

44 thoughts on “Former Millwall striker Claridge to apply for manager's post

  • December 27, 2013 at 12:38
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    Not a bad candidate but no experience IMHO

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      • December 27, 2013 at 14:13
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        @JONO: Fully agree Jono, loved him as a player and still do as a pundit, but we need someone who has the tee shirt and done it, Steve would be nice if we had time but we need to stop the rot from tomorrow and start getting points to aviod what may happen if the board dont act quickly and (this time get the right man for the job).

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        • December 27, 2013 at 19:22
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          @Barnlion: Really nice bloke, would love to have him coaching maybe, but now way manager mate haha

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    • December 27, 2013 at 12:58
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      @Surrey Lion: he managed pompey.. plus various non league teams. He has a top knowledge of league as well as the club. Gets my vote

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      • December 27, 2013 at 13:02
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        @stmarylion: He managed Pompy and Weymouth - thats it!!

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      • December 27, 2013 at 13:02
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        @stmarylion: Various Non League teams??? How did he do at Pompey??

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        • December 27, 2013 at 13:03
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          @JONO: Evidently the Bromley Fc Manager is doing well they are top of the Conference South lets have him??? lolol

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      • December 27, 2013 at 13:41
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        I meant great guy and millwall legend but not to be considered for manager as no experience.

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  • December 27, 2013 at 12:41
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    Loved Claridge when he was at the club!

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  • December 27, 2013 at 12:43
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    What a terrible shout - he got sacked after 36 days because he hasnt got a clue! He hasnt managed since then.... why would he even be considered - less worthy of the job than Lomas!

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    • December 27, 2013 at 12:48
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      @TheBermondseyBomber: Yes terrible shout.... Would be an offensive appointment if they palm us off with him

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  • December 27, 2013 at 12:43
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    go away steve.... your as soft as s***.... they would be straight down bridge bar boozing before you know it!!!!

    I dont know if anyone else saw my post before but after we lost 5-2 away at Bournemouth they was all back at bridge bar by 11pm drinking partying like they had just won the fa cup... they even had a Rolls Royce Phantom out side to pick them up???

    No joke if we are in a relegation battle and i see any of them p****** it up, i will be offended and say something.....

    We need manager to slap the lazy b******* into order, steve claridge is a soft melt needs to prove himself by even applying for this role

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  • December 27, 2013 at 12:46
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    Ambler must be buzzing to even consider him, belongs on the football league show.

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  • December 27, 2013 at 12:49
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    not sure about this tbh

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  • December 27, 2013 at 12:49
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    think we could do worse, lack of experience yes but a big plus that he knows about the squad and could hit the ground running. big job on now but i think he'd have as much chance as any one else.

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  • December 27, 2013 at 12:54
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    Is prefer Ian Holloway...

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  • December 27, 2013 at 12:57
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    Steve your a great bloke and you will always be welcome down The Den anytime. Be reasonably happy if you had a coaching roll at the club with the forwards but manager not right now thanks.

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  • December 27, 2013 at 13:00
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    I love Claridge and believe he has a lot to offer but straight into the top job is a bit risky for me. Better he becomes a number 2 to someone like Warnock who can take a directorof football role.

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  • December 27, 2013 at 13:01
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    Anyone who would thinks hes a decent Candidate is a f****** moron

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    • December 27, 2013 at 14:31
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      @JONO: Pipe down you tit. Why not consider him?? He has he's badges. If there is better out there so be it let's get them. Wouldn't crucify him the way you seem to be. Proper Millwall type there. Everyone is allowed an opinion. Stop force feeding yours on others.

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      • December 27, 2013 at 18:51
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        @bigC: I got all my swimming badges when I was 9 but that doesn't mean to say I still swim. Un-proven again! Lets look a bit more high profile for once!

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      • December 27, 2013 at 19:11
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        @bigC: Do you want to get religated you tit?????

        1.Claridge would go anywhere for 500 quid a week.....

        2.He's a nice fella but soft as s***..... We need a motivator....

        3. He is unproved also was useless at Pompey and NON LEAGUE Weymouth....

        Please tell me your reason/s for thinking he would be a good candidate???? apart from the fact he used to wear his socks low showing his calf muscles like a pwopa owld skoool Millwall.....

        Time to step up and get a f****** decent manager and not let these c**** palm us off with s***.....

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  • December 27, 2013 at 13:04
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    I find the pro-Claridge comments absolutely mental, we're all entitled to our opinion granted but a young-ish, english manager with VERY limited experience - did the past 6 months mean nothing?! Clearly some people have forgotten about Lomas within 12 hours of him being axed!!!

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  • December 27, 2013 at 13:06
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    Jackett was assistant at Man City and won promotions at Swansea..... Now we are happy with former Weymouth manager who was sacked??

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    • December 27, 2013 at 21:15
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      Jono, I don't think he would be right for manager just yet but asst manager to a seasoned war horse like Warnock, defo

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  • December 27, 2013 at 13:12
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    Really like Steve Claridge, but cannot see the board repeating the same mistake employing someone with no Championship experience. To all the people moaning about Warnock, who would you prefer out of him and Steve Claridge? We need experience, someone proven, with Championship experience, knowledge of tactics, at least in the short term to steady us, sort out the aggro players, and stop us shipping goals.

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  • December 27, 2013 at 13:16
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    dont think he'll get the job though like i said we could do worse but we are in such a mess it has to an old hand like Warnock who wont take any crap.

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  • December 27, 2013 at 13:21
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    I feel sorry for him he clearly wants it but its surely too risky, inexperienced manager, hopefully the board learnt their lesson.

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  • December 27, 2013 at 13:26
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    no not for me , but i can see that he is desperate for the job . I think they should give it to warnock because he has the experience in this league and he can get us out of trouble . (mid table)

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  • December 27, 2013 at 13:28
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    Would like to see him on the coaching staff - Bomber and Steve under someone more experienced, like Warnock, who I don't believe did much of the coaching in his other jobs - but not the main man yet!!!

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    • December 27, 2013 at 21:13
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      @Adsy77777: I agree Adsy, the club would benefit in havinh him on the staff but not sure he would accept anything less than the top job.

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  • December 27, 2013 at 13:52
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    Claridge talks some sense and I listened to him on the radio on Saturday about the lack of belief our team have. He laso talks sense about the formation and use of wingers, it was ridiculous for Lomas to play Easter on the wing. No good in prejudging anyone right now. All we need is someone with the skill to move Millwall up the table and get the players motivated. No matter what name is posted here as a contender they will have their detractors. Get behind whom ever it turns out to be its the only chance we have this season. Lets hope the board get it right.

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    • December 27, 2013 at 22:47
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      @Peckhamlad: lomas did a lot of talking, said a lot that sounded good but ultimately it was all noise.

      Must go for someone with experience at this level who can keep us in the Championship. Sorry Steve but that isn't you fella.

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  • December 27, 2013 at 13:55
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    SIGN HIM UP!

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  • December 27, 2013 at 14:03
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    I have lots of respect for Claridge as I'm sure all Millwall fans do, but I really think this is not the right time. We desperately need an experienced hand to steady the ship right now and I fear that whilst Claridge speaks well and is a fantastic analyst of the game, I'm not sure this translates into time-served managerial nous and getting it right BEFORE the match.

    There are clearly bigger problems at the club that existed during KJ's reign. These sort of problems were obviously far too big for someone of SL's limited experience to handle - which is possibly why Warnock is being mentioned.

    We need someone who has done it all before and knows exactly how to get this team playing and the rotten stuff knocked out of it as quickly as possible as we only have half the season left.

    It's no mean task, this is real Red Adair, Mr Wolf time folks.

    But we do have a decent squad of players and the right appointment now could make a world of difference. You only have to look at the state Ipswich were in 12 months ago and see what a difference McCarthy made with limited tinkering to see just how valuable experience is at this time.

    Even if the transfer kitty is empty, a manager with lots of contacts at this level (someone like Holloway) could turn the team around very quickly.

    Most importantly, an old head will have a tried and tested way of playing, what players can play that way and bring the structure and discipline that has been lacking under SL.

    I'm not suggesting these names as candidates, just as examples of the sort of manager we need.

    It's no exaggeration to say that this next appointment could be the most crucial of our recent history.

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  • December 27, 2013 at 15:17
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    Sounds like he really wants it.

    Rather have warnock, I think claridge would be a bit of a gamble as he isn't very experienced.

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  • December 27, 2013 at 15:19
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    STEVE C DOES NOW, KNOW HOW TO CHAT - AWAY, A BIT MORE
    THEN HE DID THE LAST TIME HE WAS HERE..............
    SO, JUST MAYBE, HE IS A LITTLE CHEAPER !!!!

    " NO ONE LIKES US, WE DON'T CARE "
    STORMIN' NORMAN

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  • December 27, 2013 at 16:37
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    A true lions legend, gave 100% for MFC but don't think this jobs for you mate.

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  • December 27, 2013 at 17:32
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    No . No . Nice man . But that's it

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  • December 27, 2013 at 18:43
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    Great goal poacher,but not enough experience to be a Millwall manager

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  • December 27, 2013 at 20:40
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    Good Luck Steve and I hope to shake hands with you, you deserve a chance , after the way you was unfairly treated last time .......

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  • December 27, 2013 at 21:21
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    No no no no and no, was a journeyman footballer who kept changing clubs so that the signing on fee would pay off his gambling debts...... probably looking for another pay day to cover another debt

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