IAN Holloway has revealed Millwall "held their nerve" to sign Matthew Briggs.
The left back initially rejected a contract offer from the Lions but revived negotiations on Friday before putting pen-to-paper on a one-year contract.
Briggs was offered a more lucrative deal by Blackpool and Holloway had earlier stated that Millwall's hopes of landing the former Fulham trainee were dead in the water.
But the 23-year-old had a change of heart and committed his future to the Lions after taking a few days to weigh up his options.
"It was always going to turn around," Holloway said.
"I switched off, I told Andy Ambler 'good luck with that' and 'hold your nerve' because I felt the kid worked so hard for me.
"I sat Briggsy down and showed him what I think he needs to do.
"Because of my new routine and staffing levels, I got [performance anaylst] Jay Lefevre to put together clips from three of his games.
"We watched a good game, a bad game and one that he wasn't so sure about – Briggsy had never done that before.
"I'm really excited about the boy wanting to play and wanting to be taught – and that's where it starts.
"If he gets worried and he can't do it here, we're going to crucify him and I can't have that. So I need him to step to the plate and take responsibility for everything he says and does."
When Briggs first burst onto the scene at Fulham, he was an England youth international being linked with moves to Manchester United and Arsenal.
And Holloway believes the defender struggled to cope with the outside world's expectations of him.
"Potential is just a curse because people talk about you – you're either as good as they think you should be, or you're not," the Lions boss said.
"I once saw someone blow potential out of the water just by believing in himself – and that was Les Ferdinand.
"He went off with England one day, he came back and Ray Wilkins said to him: 'if you don't look the part, if you don't feel the part, who's going to believe in you?'
"Les changed everything about himself after that and this kid could do the same.
"But I've got Scott Malone and Scott knows that Briggs is coming in – so what do I need to do? I need to sit back and encourage the both of them.
"I don't really care who plays. If they don't respect my decisions they can get out of my club because I will show them respect."