Millwall board makes pitch investment promise to Holloway

© Edmund Boyden
© Edmund Boyden

THE Millwall board will continue to invest in the pitches at The Den and training ground to help Ian Holloway implement a passing style of football at the club.

Holloway believes that the standard of the Lions' playing surfaces – at the stadium and their Bromley base – need to be improved in the future.

In 2012, the pitch at The Den was re-laid at the cost of £250,000 but chief executive Andy Ambler has confirmed that further improvements are being planned.



Speaking ahead of Saturday's game at QPR, Holloway said: "I'm really looking forward to us going over to Loftus Road, and the best thing about going there is the surface.

"The pitch is really firm and there won't be any bobbles – it will be fantastic.

"We are going to have to invest in the pitches at the training ground and at The Den. There is nothing wrong with it or who's doing it, but it needs a bit of investment.



"We have invested in it heavily and I want to keep doing that because how we have played away from home recently has been helped by a good surface.

"I want to get us playing a passing game. I can't play any other way, so the pitch is vital.

"It's not a problem at the moment – in the first half against Doncaster we out-passed and out-manouvered them – it's just where I want to be in the future."

Ambler added: "We have invested heavily in the pitch and the improvement we have made is clear. You only have to compare our pitch with Charlton's pitch to witness that.

"That said, we know that we need the best pitch we can possibly get for Ollie's style of play, so part of the board's commitment to the manager is to improve the pitch.

"The board has approved a continuous programme to improve the surface at The Den. At the training ground, two of the pitches are already being made ready for next season."

Alex Aldridge

(@accordingtoaldo)

58 thoughts on “Millwall board makes pitch investment promise to Holloway

  • April 24, 2014 at 14:42
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    What about investing in some top class strikers? Just a thought.

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    • April 24, 2014 at 14:57
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      @foxy: this is great news & not before time i'am in block28 which is pitch level ..its not the strikers fault when the ball keeps bobbling..if we are to play ollys way we need a flat pitch..& training pitch's ..Ambler ours has never been as bad as that swamp called charlton

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    • April 24, 2014 at 15:45
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      @foxy: well foxy, it's a question a lot of fans would like answered.As you say , some good quality players instead of ones who play 90mins and cry off injured or too tired to play 2 x games in one week.

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    • April 24, 2014 at 16:53
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      @foxy: well we've offered contracts to Easter and Marquis who couldn't hit a barn door so expect us to offer deals to Jackson Morison and lurch then we will have the worst strike force we've ever had for two seasons on the trot !

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      • April 24, 2014 at 17:29
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        @southstandview: You can't blame our quality strikeforce. Don't you realise that if we had a better pitch, our forwards would've converted those win-less games into nine home victories.

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        • April 24, 2014 at 17:42
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          @Micky Lions: no sorry our pitch is plenty good enough we just have crap strikers

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        • April 24, 2014 at 21:44
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          @Micky Lions: derby didn't have any problem getting 5 nor Birmingham 3 etc etc

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      • April 24, 2014 at 17:37
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        @southstandview: god just seen your reply , i've parked the cab in oxford st to go and have a lay down ffs.

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        • April 24, 2014 at 18:03
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          @foxy: time to get rid of our entire forward line and start again

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    • April 24, 2014 at 21:13
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      @foxy: Now you're talking my kind of language. For me, that has to be Wood at leicester. He's not going to make the cut at Leicester next season. If we stay up then we should sign him pronto before one of the relegated clubs from the Prem. do so. Given what we've paid the likes of Campbell etc that should be used to get a top quality striker. I'd keep Morison because we could get him on a one year deal and he'd sign that. Everyone else arrivaderci.

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      • April 24, 2014 at 21:33
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        @NICKOLA: yes, that's one of the best suggestion we'Ve seen or heard on this Board.

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        • April 24, 2014 at 22:11
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          @BUSHWACKER14: Problem is, Wood was great with Jackett's style of football but he might not be a so good in a passing team which we are becoming (and which Leicester are - and he can't get a game for them)

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          • April 25, 2014 at 00:31
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            Wood was at west brom in the prem ..was loaned out to the brummies when we went up there on a sunday & he scored 3 goals..(zulu's pitch is a good un).then jackett got on loan..not the only manager to like him..olly said to jb that you should of signed him instead of a loan..so its obvious he's a fan..

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      • April 24, 2014 at 21:48
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        @NICKOLA: sorry but Morison is finished at this level and both him and woods wage demands would be ridiculous , we need to remember we're one of the worst supported clubs in this league and can't pay stupid money .

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        • April 24, 2014 at 21:54
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          @southstandview: If you add up what we've paid or are paying the likes of Campbell, Hoyte, McDonald, Marquis etc. I think that would pay Wood's wages. It's true we punch above our weight given our support, but every year it gets tougher. If we stay up. we need to stop signing loanees en-masse if we are ever going to be a top ten team.

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          • April 24, 2014 at 22:00
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            @NICKOLA: yeah but still think we need to forget paying top money and find players lower down the leagues and I'd forget Morison totally .

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      • April 24, 2014 at 21:51
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        @NICKOLA: I love to have wood like you said but for me i'll try and get andre gray from luton he's like a rocket; wood and gray scary.

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        • April 24, 2014 at 23:06
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          @foxy: Wood broke into the Leceister first team this season and will quite happily take his chances in the prem before deciding to leave. Realistoically there is not a chance in hell he would sign for us. Also don't forget that some focussed abuse after he left us apparently has put the whole club in a bad light with him. Forget Wood, he is history, we need to find different hidden gems.

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    • April 25, 2014 at 08:26
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      @foxy: GEAR UP EVERYBODY NOT LONG TO OUR VISIT
      TO WEST LONDON FOR THE DESTRUCTION OF QPR AT LOFTUS ROAD..................
      MILLWALL FC AND SUPPORTERS ARE READY TO RUMBLE TO A WIN!!!!!!!
      " NO ONE LIKES US, WE DONT CARE "
      STORMIN' NORMAN

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  • April 24, 2014 at 15:02
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    Its ok telling us the pitch needs to be improved and I'm up for that but what exactly does the investment involve? The pitch was re-laid as you say 2012 and I believe we have got them artificial lights to improve grass growth, so what else does it need to get it into even better condition? Can someone explain!

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    • April 24, 2014 at 15:14
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      @Basingstokelion: thats a good point..on monday i'am sure i saw him with his B&Q. card.perhaps he's gonna buy a roller...

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    • April 24, 2014 at 21:41
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      @Basingstokelion: We've had a new pitch laid, artificial lights installed, a sprinkler system and a fortune spent last season bringing it up to Championship standard. What I don't get is why Ollie has to flag this up. Shouldn't that be the responsibilty of the groundsman or stadium manager? Who's responsible? Unless the climate at Arsenal is a lot different to that at SE14? I can find no answer. I'm not expecting it to look like the Oval, but christ you'd think we could lay a pitch that's worthy. I'm blaming Ambler only because I haven't had a dig at him for at least a month.

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      • April 25, 2014 at 08:29
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        @NICKOLA: I'm guessing that in 2012, the club invested what they could afford on the pitch, sprinkler system, and so on. QPR are in a different league to us, in financial terms. Backed by billionaire owners, they can afford the best facilities. Not to mention the playing staff - both in terms of quality and numbers. Holloway isn't comparing like with like. My lawn probably isn't in as good nick as Steve Morison's, but then I don't earn £17k a week!

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  • April 24, 2014 at 15:08
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    How about investing in wider and higher goals!

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  • April 24, 2014 at 15:31
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    So do the board think having the Lionesses playing on it will turn out to be a wise decision? Not sure we can blame the pitch for 18months of terrible home form?

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  • April 24, 2014 at 15:58
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    Should be blooming that pitch, Lomas had enough s*** on it!

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    • April 24, 2014 at 17:41
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      @wongo: thats made me cry mate great post.

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  • April 24, 2014 at 17:22
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    This story is just b*******. I live in America now even though I was partially raised in Kent. Even in American college sports the field needs to be perfect. This goes without saying. I don't understand how an imperfect field can be allowed for a professional sport. I remember watching Stevenage vs Newcastle a few years back in the FA Cup at Stevenage. The ball would take 1 foot bounces on its own. I get the whole adapt to your playing surface thing to give you an advantage, but when a "bobble" in the field costs you a goal its just horseshit.

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  • April 24, 2014 at 17:28
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    £250,000 in a year........... ON GRASS ???
    Even Trotter couldn't get through that !

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    • April 24, 2014 at 22:13
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      @frank: Even Bob Marley didn't spend that much a year on grass

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  • April 24, 2014 at 17:28
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    Studs only. Blades should be banned, even for away teams. They plough a pitch up too much over season.

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  • April 24, 2014 at 17:40
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    A side issue, will the game be televised live in London this sat?

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    • April 24, 2014 at 18:36
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      @grassgrower: yes, it is being shown at Millwall FC ( cost £ 10. - 00, per person .

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    • April 24, 2014 at 21:45
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      @grassgrower: if there is a link I will post it on Saturday

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      • April 24, 2014 at 22:10
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        @timchimes: thanks also, tc, be good to have a beer and watch a goalsfest victory for the roaring lions. The big Austrian astronaut will be unstoppable. Il stop drinking now before I spill it on the keypad

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    • April 24, 2014 at 22:16
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      @grassgrower: ah the "GRASS" it's always the "GRASSES" fault !!! The games played, someone scores, someone wins and someone loses . Happens at every ground every week!!! Not that I'm whinging.

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  • April 24, 2014 at 18:24
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    Let's get some advice from Arsenal's grounds staff on who their pitch supplier was. That pitch is flatter than a snooker table.

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  • April 24, 2014 at 18:37
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    I've seen plenty of teams come to millwall and play some very good football on our pitch, including the team that is currently bottom of our division.

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  • April 24, 2014 at 18:47
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    Opposing strikers don't seem to have a problem finishing on our pitch. Or does the ball just bobble for our mob.

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  • April 24, 2014 at 19:09
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    The final piece of the jigsaw for Holloway. A full pre-season, time to instill his style of play, get his own players in, get rid of the 'deadwood', get the players to the correct fitness levels, get the spirit right etc. and now he'll have the perfect pitches for 'his style of play'. Not much wiggle room for any excuses next season.

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    • April 24, 2014 at 21:45
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      @lion.ie: yes, we should p*** league one

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  • April 24, 2014 at 20:14
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    I remember the corner flag at the old Den up the CBL end. It was about three inches lower than anywhere else.
    Don't know what the problem is with the bumps at the New Den. Why not get Shittu to sit on them?

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    • April 24, 2014 at 23:08
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      @NICKOLA: that'll just create a crevice, are we trying to recreate the Somme?

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  • April 24, 2014 at 20:31
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    All well & good I say but a little help with away travel would be appreciated also

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    • April 24, 2014 at 21:35
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      @TrueLion: another great suggestion , seems everyone on here should be on the Millwall Board .

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  • April 24, 2014 at 22:26
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    Here we go again. Wasting money that we dont have on something we dont need, not 4 the next couple of seasons anyway. So what happens when we play away next season against team's like brentford and lose the game. what we goner do blame the pitch its a joke. The pitch is fine and better then most. How about investing in a hungry young raw talent.

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  • April 24, 2014 at 22:31
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    How about trying to improve the squad and not the f@#$!ng pitch.

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    • April 25, 2014 at 00:49
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      @JordieLion: looks as though yourgonna get your wish. Read in the SLP last week that the mental one has 2 sets of players he wants to bring in this summer..-1 list for the championship & another for a lower league...we are hoping he has to tear the 2nd up

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  • April 25, 2014 at 01:24
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    Just when u fort it was safe. Along comes ambler to waste more money. What a w*****.

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  • April 25, 2014 at 08:29
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    Just a thought, with all this talk of 3G plastic pitches that apparently are very good.

    Who knows?

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    • April 25, 2014 at 08:58
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      @wongo: dont bring back fond memories..qpr & luton..they were terrible..i know the ones we have now are ten times better..but plasstic no...compare it to drinking beer out of a glass to plastic which one do you prefer

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  • April 25, 2014 at 09:26
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    40-goal non-league striker to play game for Millwall U21s...( NAD April 15th)
    Totally off topic, but does anyone know how this Connor Calcutt bloke got on ?

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  • April 26, 2014 at 00:12
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    A work man never blames his tools, especially when he earns 17k a week. Well it might his football boots what's not playing good football or scoring goals. Try tightening your boot laces. I can't see what's wrong with our pitch. Like a lot of people have said away teams have managed to score goals against us

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