Ollie pleased with Millwall's makeshift centre-back pairing

© Keith Gillard
© Keith Gillard

MILLWALL manager Ian Holloway heaped praise on defensive duo Danny Shittu and Alan Dunne following his side's 1-1 draw with Bolton on Saturday.

Shittu and Dunne started a game together as the Lions' two centre backs for the first time, and Holloway described their performances as "outstanding" and "terrific" respectively.

33-year-old Shittu was singled out for special praise, having put in some monstrous displays since Holloway's appointment despite an ongoing knee problem.



"Danny was outstanding," said Holloway. "I think it is down to getting his head right and the belief that he knows I've always had in him.

"He needs to be managed, but his knee can do a damn sight more than he thinks it can.

"With the intensity of our training and the fitness levels I demand, the times I leave him out are just as important as the times I make him train.



"Bit by bit, he'll start to believe in himself again.

"He's an immense character in that dressing room – not just the size of him. He looks imagineear.com/pharmacy/ like the geezer from The Green Mile (actor Michael Clarke Duncan) doesn't he?

"He was miles ahead of everything and won a lot of headers against Lukas Jutkiewicz.

"Next to him I had Dunney, who isn't really a centre back, but he deserves credit. We have been working with him so that he can play there, because he's quick and can cover.

"I thought he was absolutely terrific."

Jutkiewicz beat Dunne to Chris Eagles' cross to score the opening goal for the visitors, but Holloway was more frustrated by other lapses of concentration in the build up.

"We got one thing wrong," he said.

"Ryan Fredericks didn't close down, we were too deep when the ball went back to the player who took the throw in, they crossed it in and their bloke has dived to head it.

"He didn't even know where it was going, and it's gone in off the post. That's the only chance they had apart from the penalty."

Alex Aldridge

(@accordingtoaldo)

48 thoughts on “Ollie pleased with Millwall's makeshift centre-back pairing

  • February 16, 2014 at 11:27
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    Well done to both Shittu and Dunney for their performances on the day, but it will be nice to have Lowry back for the Barnsley game. Hopefully we can get a more settled defence and more settled starting 11 for that matter.

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  • February 16, 2014 at 11:29
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    Sorry Ollie I disagree. We had a perfectly good centre back on the bench. Dunne won't make it as a centre back, their forward wouldn't have got the better of Robbo for the goal I'm sure of that. You've got that one (and a few others I could mention) well wrong.

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    • February 16, 2014 at 11:51
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      @SingleWhiteLion:

      don't hold out hope for robbo - we need to move on from him unfortunately - all the time robbo can get in our side we will go nowhere - when you compare our defence with the shambolic situation at southend that IH inherited then it has come a long way - he is doing well with the personnel he has - a few more chance taken up front and their work won't look so bad

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      • February 16, 2014 at 12:56
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        @timchimes: Yes, I think that Robbo's time at Millwall is coming to an end but in the meantime I would still prefer him at CB to Dunne. Now that Lowry is back he will be selected until the next time he looses his temper and gets sent off again.

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        • February 17, 2014 at 16:02
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          @SingleWhiteLion: I thought Dunne generally played well and brought composure to a position we would not normally expect to see. I can count on one hand the number of times our CB's brought the ball down under control and ran forward with it, and DIDN'T give away possession. Dunne allowed our team to pass out from the back and instigated periods of sustained possession. Play him again in that role and see if he can get stronger, as he has a lot of potential.

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  • February 16, 2014 at 11:41
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    I reckon dunne was deccent but definetly not a centre back , scuffed and sliced alot of clearances yesterday . Dunne to replace Fredericks against Barnsley ,hasn't attacked much since debut against Ipswich , dunne will at least try and cross ball . Malone and Fredericks crossed about 2 deccent balls all day yesterday !!

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  • February 16, 2014 at 11:56
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    Dunne Is Not a Centre Back, He is coming to the end of his career at Millwall, he is not mentally quick enough to be aware of situations even at right back, and his mistake lead to Bolton,s goal, too slow in reacting to the movement of Jukawitz(spelling) and deceived by the cross flightof the ball. Any good centre back would not have made that mistake.
    I feel sorry for him but he's been a good servant to the club

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    • February 17, 2014 at 01:12
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      @aeojt:
      Dunne will be here for a while still. Your talking b*******

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  • February 16, 2014 at 11:57
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    Jheeze give the bloke a chance, he makes a better pairing with Shittu than Robbo does.

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  • February 16, 2014 at 12:02
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    KEEP THE GOOD WORK UP LADS, NOT CONCIDING WILLY - NILLY NOW. AT LEAST 5 x PLAYERS DID VERY WELL. NO ONE LIKES US, WE DONT CARE. STORMIN' NORMAN.

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    • February 17, 2014 at 09:04
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      @bermlion: Stormin Norman, that's it you have hit the nail on the head, thats why we are 4th from bottom because the other 6 players in the team did not do very well, lets face it the side is just not good enough on paper it looks a decent squad but this is the third manager since January last year and we are no better than we were then.

      If and I hope we do avoid the drop for the second season on the trott and Ollie stays at the club then he will really need to earn his corn off load those who are not upto playing at this level and bring in players of more quality and have the pre-season to get a team that he can call his own.

      Did not understand playing Dunne at CB when Robbo was on the bench either if he was fit then why did he not play in his position instead of playing a right back who was at fault for there goal and tended to drift out left all game to keep Malone company, we scraped a draw against a very poor Bolton side, so for me its 32 points dropped rather than a point gained.

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  • February 16, 2014 at 12:18
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    1 was at fault for their goal, the other face away a blatant penalty!

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    • February 16, 2014 at 13:39
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      @James Porter: That's what I thought, I didn't think either played that badly, but both made a massive mistake each. For me Forde was our most important player yesterday.

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  • February 16, 2014 at 12:27
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    I have found another striker for us, jack brownfield, zero goals in 37 games for metroplitan police reserves, was realeased by hoytethem oh yeah and hes more unfit than hoyte. Snap him up quick ollie before man city come in with an offer

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    • February 16, 2014 at 12:29
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      And hes 33 even better

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  • February 16, 2014 at 12:44
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    Barnsley here come Millwall , undefeated in two games so far. I fancy we can get points up there.

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  • February 16, 2014 at 13:21
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    Think IH is absolutely right, Danny is not only a great character but has come on leaps and bounds since Holloway has arrived, he looks much fitter and is a tower of strength at the back. Not only that he is a Lion through and through.

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  • February 16, 2014 at 14:07
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    It's not been an easy couple of weeks for IH picking our defensive line up. With the likes of Shittu being out a few weeks back, Lowry getting suspended and Beevers currently out = I think those 3 are his preferred starting players over the likes of say Dunney, Smith and Robbo- With Bugsy and Fred being his preferred choices at RB and LB.
    On the issue of Dunne being picked over Robbo at CB- Yes this does raise some Q's?? The biggest one being- Robbo is a natural CB why isn't he playing?... Well, IMHO I think that Robbo hasn't been the same since before his long term injury. On his return he looked good, but I think this was down to the adrenaline of being back in the shirt and I feel this wore off a little bit- coinciding with Lomas' demise.
    Dunney on the other hand, has been a constant in the team and his work rate has continued to be good through everything that has happened. I feel he has match fitness over Robbo (hasn't had long term injury) more pace, and the ability to pick a pass (most of the time!). On the down side, his temperament and height can let him down in this position.
    This of course will all change with the return of Lowry and Beevers- and Dunne will being fighting with Fred for a start. Robbo I worry more for- with Shittu playing the way he is, you've got to wonder- when will he get back in the team? - Maybe a loan period would be good for him to keep up match fitness while Shittu is fit??

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  • February 16, 2014 at 14:09
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    They both had a good game. But we need Lowry bk. I would keep Malone & spurs kid back for xtra training on how to cross a ball they were shocking. Apart from that I fort we played well yesterday keep it up. & we will soon start winning games. MLLlllllllllllllllllll

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  • February 16, 2014 at 14:21
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    Should be signing that gray bloke from Luton! Hasn't stopped banging them it!

    Yeah robbo n dunne not quite championship quality I'm afraid. We need some defenders who can head the ball!

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    • February 16, 2014 at 18:11
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      Raylondon

      There is no better defensive header of the ball in the club then Robbo, just his passing which let's him down.
      Shittu is a poor header of the ball from a standing start that is why we have let in so many goals from corners and set pieces which have cost us goals this season, how many free headers have we seen in our six yard boxs this season which have cost goals.

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  • February 16, 2014 at 14:49
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    We have looked at gray before, when jacket was manager. And we played Luton in the cup, dunney had him in his pocket that day, I know jacket was interested , but couldn't have been impressed enough to go in for him.

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  • February 16, 2014 at 14:49
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    Dunne is a great servant for us but not a championship cb definitely good backup for Fredericks. F*** off Hoyle and Connolly ( if he's even still here) robbo too is a good championship backup cb. Ideally I would like beavers and Lowry to form a really strong partnership and shore up our defence for years to come even though there both left sided center backs. Shittu big hoofs up pitch are good to watch but keep dropping to the oppos players. We have ok defensive players but they need some work still.

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  • February 16, 2014 at 15:49
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    We had 11 players ou there saturday..its called a team ..something we aint been able to witness for some time..the mental one got millwall playing some great stuff....bolton fanzine admitted they were lucky..& they want dougall out

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    • February 16, 2014 at 19:26
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      @Jim28: Well said Jim very true, i loved watching our players pass for once.... great display only going to get more comfortable and better... the fans need to relax and applaud when we play football like that, not get on thier backs which will make them nervous...

      We will get better

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    • February 16, 2014 at 20:08
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      @Jim28: spot on jim,to many sceptics ready to moan and groan.i was truly proud of the way we played ,pure refreshment and at moments exhilarating.well done wall

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  • February 16, 2014 at 16:21
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    Sorry to change the subject from defenders to strikers, but there's a young striker playing for Luton called Andre Gray who scores every week, including 3 yesterday!
    He's young, fast and strong, just the sort who could be next Neil Harris, so let's make an attempt to get him down the den!!!

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    • February 16, 2014 at 19:26
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      @dpendet: ye@dpendet: yeah i mentioned him in an earlier post 22 goals in his last 24 games

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    • February 16, 2014 at 19:26
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      @dpendet: ye@dpendet: yeah i mentioned him in an earlier post 22 goals in his last 24 games, not bad to say the least

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  • February 16, 2014 at 19:22
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    Anyone who knows real football understands why Dunne was picked... We want to pass from the back... Beevers and Robbo cant pass like Dunne...

    In Holloway I trust even if we go down

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    • February 17, 2014 at 10:16
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      @JONO: Good point and well presented. You could also add that the long term view is not important at this time. The next 15 games will determine the long term and that is what we must focus on.

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    • February 17, 2014 at 16:05
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      @SingleWhiteLion: I thought Dunne generally played well and brought composure to a position we would not normally expect to see. I can count on one hand the number of times our CB's brought the ball down under control and ran forward with it, and DIDN'T give away possession. Dunne allowed our team to pass out from the back and instigated periods of sustained possession. Play him again in that role and see if he can get stronger, as he has a lot of potential.@JONO: agree with you Jono, Dunneys passing ability start quite a periods of sustained possession mainly because he targets a player when he passes/heads an clears the ball, he doesn't just hit and hope. I want to see him given a run in the team. We never had some much possession with our other centre backs.

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  • February 16, 2014 at 20:30
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    the improvement is there for all to see, the players look focussed and sharper,under the previous management team we would have conceded more goals and been running around like headless chickens with no plan or idea, ive mentioned in lots of pre posts we will be in the mire all season but will escape,get used to us touching cloth till the end of the season .

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    • February 17, 2014 at 16:06
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      @SingleWhiteLion: I thought Dunne generally played well and brought composure to a position we would not normally expect to see. I can count on one hand the number of times our CB's brought the ball down under control and ran forward with it, and DIDN'T give away possession. Dunne allowed our team to pass out from the back and instigated periods of sustained possession. Play him again in that role and see if he can get stronger, as he has a lot of potential.@JONO: agree with you Jono, Dunneys passing ability start quite a periods of sustained possession mainly because he targets a player when he passes/heads an clears the ball, he doesn't just hit and hope. I want to see him given a run in the team. We never had some much possession with our other centre backs. @millwallbuilder: turtle head at the ready!

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  • February 16, 2014 at 20:52
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    great stuff all round good to watch 22 attempts on goal,t****** on the FLS last nite moaning about IH having a go at boltons tactics.. if a another team had that many shots they would be forming at the mouth. their like a dog with a bone they just cant bring themselves to say anything positive about us, rant over feel much better now. coyl

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    • February 16, 2014 at 22:13
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      block 28 - Yeah, FLS bast*rds! No mention of the stats- just moaned about IH's Bolton comment, which was completely taken out of context - and that we should be worried about going down! Cheers FLS, glad to see my TV license £s are being put to good use! C**ts.... F**K EM ALL!!!

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  • February 16, 2014 at 20:58
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    To our man on the board what is happening about leeds. is the ban being lifted coz I want to book train tickets and the deals are running out. many thanks

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    • February 17, 2014 at 00:58
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      @block 28: ..block 28 i dont think the board fan will tell you f*** all....

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  • February 16, 2014 at 22:12
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    I think Robinson is better than Shittu! That's just my opinion, he's certainly more mobile.

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  • February 17, 2014 at 00:36
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    Didn't get home till 2 sunday morning ( pub )..so i didn't see F.L.S. Did they use they use any t.v. Evidence for the 1st shot which was cleared of the line..cos where i was standing it looked in..mfc fort so cos they turned the screen of but didn't on the 2nd one..

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  • February 17, 2014 at 00:39
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    Didn't get home till 2 sunday morning ( pub )..so i didn't see F.L.S. Did they use they use any t.v. Evidence for the 1st shot which was cleared of the line..cos where i was standing it looked in..mfc fort so cos they turned the screen of but didn't on the 2nd one....

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  • February 17, 2014 at 03:46
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    Ollie''s a smart guy, he played Dunne and Easter to keep the dressing room positive and everyone happy. He has learnt from the poor man management of Lomas, and first wants to keep everyone happy. Ollie really has taken on a huge job here, because he really is starting from basics with this club.

    I thought we played very well in patches, and we are definitely improving every game. Ollie's coming good, as we all subconsciously knew. Now we have a team who are starting to understand where they have gone wrong in the past. A few minor changes I would make: try not to individually criticise players like Fredericks for not closing down, and do not stress the importance of all these 6-pointers, it just adds to the pressure to the players. There's only 5 clubs who are head and shoulders over the rest, the others are beatable home or away- we should not worry about table positions of opponents. 3rd point this for the Chairman is recruit a new PR girl to sweeten the officials when they arrive at the club! Kind of like a 'meet and greet' 25k position. (would not be a bad thing if she was fit and busty too!) People may laugh, but we need officials to look forward to coming down to the Den. I'm a businessman, and sometimes you've got to evaluate in which areas could be improved for our players and for our 'hosting abilities'.

    I love Holloway, I've waited so long for a manager of his calibre to come and really implement the changes we desire to progress as a club. C'mon boys, no fear> Lets go. D'Angelo

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  • February 17, 2014 at 07:50
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    Thought Dunny had a very good game; he mopped up everything and he passas well,Robbo i am afraid is finished now, hoofball is not what IH wants and Robbo is just that type of player.

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  • February 17, 2014 at 07:53
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    I would get Lowry back in asap and switch Dunny to right back as Fredricks seems to lose his way past the halfway line, also i sit about 5 yards from IH and fredricks is knackered by the 2nd half

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    • February 17, 2014 at 16:09
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      @SingleWhiteLion: I thought Dunne generally played well and brought composure to a position we would not normally expect to see. I can count on one hand the number of times our CB's brought the ball down under control and ran forward with it, and DIDN'T give away possession. Dunne allowed our team to pass out from the back and instigated periods of sustained possession. Play him again in that role and see if he can get stronger, as he has a lot of potential.@JONO: agree with you Jono, Dunneys passing ability start quite a periods of sustained possession mainly because he targets a player when he passes/heads an clears the ball, he doesn't just hit and hope. I want to see him given a run in the team. We never had some much possession with our other centre backs. @millwallbuilder: turtle head at the ready!@DELBOY64: Fredrick's had a poor game by his standards, lost the ball way too often and crossing was poor.

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  • February 17, 2014 at 13:09
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    For the first time this season we tried to pass our way past the opposition, although as IH said we overplayed at times.
    I thought Dunne had a decent match at CB even though he sliced some clearances with his un favoured left foot.
    I have a problem with Scott Malone, in that his starting position when he is looking to receive the ball is always square on or facing towards his own goal, which means that his only option is to pass or run infield or back towards our goal....if he just adjusted his position slightly by opening his body, his first movement and/or pass could be a forward one

    Thought Morison looked good on the right wing when Campbell and Jackson came on, pace awareness etc...IMHO should start there for the next match

    Upson and Williams were passing the ball about and more importantly put there foot on the ball rather than making a hurried pass.
    For the first time this season we looked like a team and one the new boys get to know each other I think we will go on a good run
    Happy Days

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    • February 17, 2014 at 16:10
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      @SingleWhiteLion: I thought Dunne generally played well and brought composure to a position we would not normally expect to see. I can count on one hand the number of times our CB's brought the ball down under control and ran forward with it, and DIDN'T give away possession. Dunne allowed our team to pass out from the back and instigated periods of sustained possession. Play him again in that role and see if he can get stronger, as he has a lot of potential.@JONO: agree with you Jono, Dunneys passing ability start quite a periods of sustained possession mainly because he targets a player when he passes/heads an clears the ball, he doesn't just hit and hope. I want to see him given a run in the team. We never had some much possession with our other centre backs. @millwallbuilder: turtle head at the ready!@DELBOY64: Fredrick's had a poor game by his standards, lost the ball way too often and crossing was poor. @eio: agree with your comments on Malone, he will never move up from the Championship if he can't improve his positional play.

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  • February 17, 2014 at 16:11
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    As much as I believe Dunne has been a loyal and passionate player for wall over the years, I cannot believe IH will use him long term as a regular player in any position. Maybe a squad utility player that comes in and will do an OK job. Thought he actually did ok Saturday, but cannot see him consistently passing a ball out, or across the back four without it ending in tears. That said, not sure I have anymore belief that Robbo or Beevers could play their way out of defence.

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