Holloway challenges Millwall to break into play-off pack

© Millwall FC
© Millwall FC

IAN Holloway challenged Millwall to force their way into the play-off pack after Saturday's stalemate with Nottingham Forest.

The Lions, fifth before the international break, have slipped down the league table this week after only claiming one point from a possible nine.

But Holloway believes his side can break back into the top ten in the Championship in the months ahead – and was encouraged by the performance against Forest.

"I was very pleased with our display," he said. "We've got one point from three games but we've probably played better this week than we have in some of our others games.

"We're getting there. I thoroughly enjoyed our play. We got three points against Fulham and we've had spells this week where we played much better than we did against Fulham.

"That's all we can do. I think we can compete in the Championship and not be struggling down the bottom. We're not where I want to be but we're learning.

"I don't want to be a Kenyan in the marathon because they're always at the front. That's not us – we're not going to be there. I want to get in the chasing pack.

"If we can win our next game, then we might be in that pack. At the minute we've dropped out of it because we've only got one point out of nine.

"I knew this would be a tough week but unfortunately it proved to be even tougher than I thought and it was tougher on us than we deserved.

"But we didn't lose our confidence and we kept going. We stayed on task and were calm."

Millwall restricted Forest to just two shots on target – with big-money summer signings Britt Assombalonga and Michail Antonio kept quiet by the Lions' back four.

At the other end, Mathias Ranegie and Martyn Woolford had chances to win it.

"I would suggest a little bit of wedge here and there, chucked at a £5million centre forward, does help you," Holloway added. "Forest are on a roll – they're buzzing at the moment.

"Forest went 4-4-2 late in the game, which meant Stuart Pearce was trying to win it, but they also sat in and got well organised to stop us. That shows we're not that bad.

"I'm the worst pundit in the world because I told the fans before the game that it would never be 0-0 – that they'd been on the edge of their seats and it'd be high-scoring.

"Thank god I'm a manager because I'd be absolutely useless as a pundit. I said 'categorically this game will not be 0-0' – why don't I suggest something instead of opening my big trap?

"But in fairness, it shouldn't have been goalless. We should've had a penalty and so should they – at least it'd have been 1-1.

"The save from Ranegie and then Woolford's opportunity are big things at this level. We could have been smiling about beating top of the league but we didn't."

Holloway added: "Ed Upson was terrific. He looked good with Shaun Williams and I should hope so because I signed them both!

"You've got to learn how to play for Millwall and I think the crowd enjoyed how he played today.

"We've got to learn how to work with Ranegie and simplify things around the box. All we needed was a ricochet to fall our way or Ranegie's chance to go in.

"That's all it takes sometimes – we did it with Blackpool the other week when we opened them up with a free kick.

"I had to protect Ricardo Fuller – I didn't want to leave him out but he had a bit of tightness in his hamstring, so I couldn't risk starting him and I need to get Ranegie fitter."

Alex Aldridge

(@accordingtoaldo)

49 thoughts on “Holloway challenges Millwall to break into play-off pack

  • September 20, 2014 at 18:47
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    Get a f.ucking goal scorer then.

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    • September 20, 2014 at 18:53
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      @LETEMCOME: or five million quid.

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      • September 20, 2014 at 18:55
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        @Lincolnshire Lion: Or maybe one we already have? Or a youngster from within or a loan.

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  • September 20, 2014 at 18:50
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    Forwards either not fit or injury prone. Defence did well today and our midfield is solid and we have Bailey back soon. If only we had a young, fit and hungry striker....

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    • September 20, 2014 at 20:46
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      @NICKOLA:We did have, Gregory until his alleged injury.

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  • September 20, 2014 at 18:58
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    If Ollie wants to push in to that category he'll need a striker and winger! Because no one is creating an opportunity to score, secondly these strikers we have ain't prolific enough!

    Can't grumble though, we played alright against a club at the top of the league.

    Also abdou had a absolute blinder today that Anotnio was giving Edwards stress in the first 10minutes!! Got past him 3 times like he won't there,

    abdou filled in on his role. Antonio wasn't a threat for the rest of the game!

    Well done abdou!

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    • September 20, 2014 at 19:06
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      @conor: @conor: Jimmy is getting better all the time imo.

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    • September 21, 2014 at 15:01
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      Good comment , I noticed that early on too. Edwards really looked like he was in for a long afternoon. If his knee is as bad as feared , it's season over for him. Abdou could make the position his own.

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  • September 20, 2014 at 19:07
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    The reality is that so far no one has dominated us,we have always set our football style, even to the championship leader, perhaps we lack even some point...
    I think at least the playoffs are possible,and now i'm not drunk ...

    COYL!!!

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    • September 21, 2014 at 02:26
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      @Crazy4lions: matey i'am seriously drunk.what i dont need is a post like that tipping me over.Hic

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  • September 20, 2014 at 19:08
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    Agree I would be more realistic about a top half finish with someone who can put ball In net hard work and toil will only get us so far and then class in this league will take over

    Unless we buy someone or pull a decent striker on loan out of our axxx we will struggles second half of season

    Good point today but by all accounts could have got more !!

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  • September 20, 2014 at 19:18
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    A message for uncle JB . Please please give Ollie the money for a proven striker! Please ! Cos if u do i can see us really make a impact in this league. COYL!

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    • September 21, 2014 at 14:01
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      @DiggerWall: digger, it wouldn't matter if jb put 100 million in the pot, we couldn't use it because of financial fair play rules. People should stop banging in about spending money on a new striker, it ain't gonna happen

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      • September 22, 2014 at 00:06
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        @Geoff the lion: that's right, whatever we do has to be within budget and right now our budget is very thin. It will be next season when the deadwood contracts end and we could potentially spend big.

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  • September 20, 2014 at 19:36
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    That was as good as a win for me,well done wall great performance
    We just need to find the back of the net

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  • September 20, 2014 at 19:40
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    Challenge for a play-off place ?
    Come on IH we are not going to have a chance without a goalscorer.
    I must say I was disappointed with Forest today,who started off like they were going to be a threat but faded away and we could have won with a goalscorer.
    Jimmy should be left at full back as he had a blinder.
    Upson did well when he came on,but Easter is not good enough.
    As it is I would be happy with a fnishing position of where we are now.

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  • September 20, 2014 at 19:42
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    We're getting there. I thoroughly enjoyed our play. We got three points against Fulham and we've had spells this week where we played much better than we did against Fulham.

    That's Fulham who have just 1 point! Buy a striker that can actually score otherwise it's more of the same!

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    • September 20, 2014 at 23:16
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      @North London Lion: considering Fulham spent £11m on a striker I don't think we're doing that badly.

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    • September 21, 2014 at 12:11
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      @North London Lion: Yes we played well against Fulham and scored one goal and got 3 points, but the warning signs were there then as in the other 7 games Fulham have played,other teams have put 3 or 4 past them, that's the difference and the reason it is so clear how important a new striker is needed. There must be a striker who cannot get in a Premiership squad that we can get on loan surely, and not another old has been.

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  • September 20, 2014 at 19:45
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    I thought we were overall the better team. Same old problem, we need a geyser who can put that f:@#;!g round thing in the opponents goal. On a happier note Jimmy was superb and Dunny and Beevers looked solid.

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  • September 20, 2014 at 19:49
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    Where are all the Dunne critics tonight? Had a very solid game today against a good front line so I am expecting some credit where it's due? Upson, Beevers and especially Abdou all impressed defensively as well.

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    • September 21, 2014 at 01:02
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      @lion.ie: im here ! He had a decent game blocking but his passing was awful

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  • September 20, 2014 at 20:21
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    5 things we learned from Forest
    1. The ref was awful.
    2. Forest are top. Why?
    3. Abdou was brilliant at rb but didn't push forward enough.
    4. We need a striker.
    5. We need a striker.

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    • September 20, 2014 at 20:31
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      @southlondon1885: Apparently you have to have 5 million so iam told.

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  • September 20, 2014 at 20:35
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    Well done to the wall and hope Carlos has a speedy recovery! COYL!!!

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  • September 20, 2014 at 22:05
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    Stoo bleeding moaning ..we held the top team .lost our rb ..had a f***** of a ref...great stuff

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    • September 21, 2014 at 12:34
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      @jim28
      Dare i say it " i could not agree more".
      pp1

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    • September 22, 2014 at 09:36
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      @Jim28: yep, sums it up! Well done boys for a good performance. We are getting better every game

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  • September 20, 2014 at 22:18
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    There are a lot of people on here saying we should BUY a striker. Can you name me some strikers you think we should buy, if we had the money ( which we don't ) that would be available to come here. Just interested .

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    • September 21, 2014 at 10:39
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      Geezer called room Doyle banging them in for chesterfield just one of many

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    • September 21, 2014 at 13:13
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      @block 28: @bordersarebest0170: deli Ali from dons 18 years old we just don't spend no money or very little we are never gonna be able to compete

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  • September 20, 2014 at 23:45
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    Still on the p***..party party.to the early hours.manager got it right..players got it right...huddersfield your gonna get well turned over...NOLU WDC

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  • September 21, 2014 at 01:56
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    Dddddooooooi

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  • September 21, 2014 at 03:56
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    I thought we made forest look pretty ordinary yes theve got a couple of handy players. The boy up front & Antonio on the wing. The first half was a non avent but we played some good football in the second with all three subs making an em pack. If only we could finish. We would be a threat to most sides in this division

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  • September 21, 2014 at 11:00
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    Just a thought. Every position Jimmy has played he has seldom let us down. Does anyone think he might do the same job up front. He seems able to adapt to anything he's asked to do. He's becoming a legend.COYW

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    • September 21, 2014 at 11:55
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      @wallchef: what's the coup with Gregory? Has he p***@d IH off, has he not trained on, w need to give him a run and get scoring,

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    • September 21, 2014 at 12:02
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      @wallchef: he would Definitely give the defenders the round around. Not sure about his finishing

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      • September 21, 2014 at 12:40
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        @block 28
        IH should play gregory in the position easter played against forest,i dont think the boy has been given a fair crack of the whip,has he upset IH or what.

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    • September 21, 2014 at 14:50
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      @wallchef: after seeing Jimmy's shooting over the years using him as a striker wouldn't be wise.

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      • September 21, 2014 at 16:25
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        @MFC Lion: take your point, but have we got anything better

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  • September 21, 2014 at 13:30
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    @POTTY 1: yeah,I know we have GREGORY, I wish he would play him. I wasn't asking who we had, I was asking all those who say we should buy a 15 / 20 goal a season man to name some we could go for. All I have had so far is an 18 year old from mk dons and one from Chesterfield . I'm throwing in Tom pope of port vale,don't know what he'd cost,so come on lads any ideas??

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  • September 21, 2014 at 14:03
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    Defence a lot better, midfield good, McDonald with excellent role - its that illusive striker again.
    Lets have another go for Matt Smith or Chris Woods. Fulham may want to unload a few with the high amount in wage bills. He has only played one match (although sent off!) and only cost Fulham £800K, and believe he would fit the bill here.

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  • September 21, 2014 at 15:53
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    Anyone who just watched Leicester put 5 past Man Utd will be aware that-

    Buying quality strikers in their prime can get you out of the championship.
    Buying quality strikers in their prime will keep you in the Premiership.
    Buying quality strikers in their prime and playing at least two up front will get you points.

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    • September 22, 2014 at 11:16
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      @NICKOLA: Even our forwards could have scored 4 of Leicester's goals, two pens and a one on one with no defenders in sight. The other goal was a great header. Money is the problem. 15-20 goals a season costs a fortune, although I would like Woods back on loan, we gave Morison a chance, so why not him. What has happened to Wolves interest in him?

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  • September 21, 2014 at 19:23
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    Buying quality strikers cost a fortune, we don't have a pot,

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