MILLWALL boss Ian Holloway says he has received a "fantastic response" from Nicky Bailey after asking the midfielder to improve his fitness.
Bailey was absent from the Lions squad for Saturday's 3-0 defeat to Reading and Holloway confirmed after the game that the 29-year-old had been given a rest.
Holloway explained: "It is a fitness thing. I honestly believe he could have got injured if I had played him again because of all the hard work he's done.
"I trained him on Saturday morning instead, I have asked him what he is eating and we are looking at it. I'm getting a fantastic response from him.
"Scott McDonald came in as well and was terrific.
"After all the hard work we did in Portugal, I didn't feel I could pick Nicky – and we missed him a little bit with his organisation, to say the least.
"The other evening against Sheffield Wednesday one or two were like 'oh, get off the floor Bailey,' but he's given me everything he's got."
Holloway also discussed his dealings on the final day of the January transfer window, which saw Liam Trotter and Andy Keogh depart with Ed Upson and Simeon Jackson coming in.
"Trotter was a simple thing," he said. "Does he want to stay? Can we give him a contract? If not, get some money for him. We've done it.
"Bolton haven't got any money at the minute so they've taken him on loan and will pay us in the summer. I've reinvested that on Ed Upson and I think that's decent business.
"That left us a little bit short on Saturday and I had to play Shaun Williams with Josh Wright, who has been doing really well in training.
"Maybe I chose the wrong one and should have played Jimmy Abdou, who knows. I tried to do what I felt was right and for a while it looked like it might work.
"Some of our football on Saturday was lovely and I want that to come in the long term, but we've still got to play off of our front boys.
"I've got some extra ones now so hopefully they'll bring a fresh impetus and score when we need them to. We'll need them to gel pretty quickly."