Millwall focus efforts on defensive shape ahead of Boro test

© Millwall FC
© Millwall FC

IAN Holloway will have the option of starting three centre backs against Middlesbrough after doing "a lot of work" with his defenders in training this week.

Switching to a 3-5-2 formation paid dividends at Bournemouth last Saturday and Holloway will consider using the same tactic when Boro travel to The Den tomorrow.

"There's a lot of work to do with the backline to get that right," said Holloway.



"If you change from 4-3-3 to 4-2-3-1, that's easy. But if you change your defence to a three or a five, it's very complicated – it isn't easy.

"There are a lot of things that are done differently and we've managed to do them when we go behind.

"It looked quite effective at Bournemouth but, after we equalised, we looked like we were going to concede again.



"So to start a game that way, you have to be careful. The lads are learning and we've done an awful lot of work on it already this week."

Up front, Holloway says Ricardo Fuller is ready to come into the starting XI having changed the game as a second-half substitute at Dean Court.

"Last season we had a giant in Stefan Maierhofer, went back to front and hit him – it’s slightly harder now but I think Ricardo is fully fit and ready to go again," said the Lions boss.

"We're not far away from being a very good team – I think we've proved that week in, week out, but we've got to turn these draws into wins."

As Holloway weighs up his tactical options for the Boro game, he says he is thrilled with the flexibility shown by his players this season.

"I'm glad they had enough about them as a group to turn it around and get it right at Bournemouth," he added. "That's no mean feat.

"That would not have happened last year – we were losing by fours and fives and the manager lost his job.

"It's a good job we can change formation and I spent a lot of time on that during the summer, just in case, and now the lads understand it and it gets us back in games."

Alex Aldridge

(@accordingtoaldo)

10 thoughts on “Millwall focus efforts on defensive shape ahead of Boro test

  • December 5, 2014 at 13:18
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    Madness...""we've done an awful lot of work already this week..." How can you learn that in a week ? I just hope 'awful' isn't the crucial word in that sentence. COYL !

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    • December 5, 2014 at 13:40
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      @denwescore
      Read the final paragragh,he also say's they did a lot of work in the summer,so as they can change formation,what he dont want to do is change player's for the sake of it.

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  • December 5, 2014 at 13:46
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    There appears to be a couple of things that seem pleaseing to me about what he is saying about the training ground this week, firstly there appears to be no injurys that we have been told about (but we still have untill 3.00pm tomorrow).
    The second is that the penny seems to have dropped, that we are not in some kind of handicaped football match where we have to give the other side a 2 goal lead and he is getting the back four right i.e defending and starting the attack from the denfence.

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    • December 5, 2014 at 14:35
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      @Barnlion:

      BARN will this mean that Dunney wont start!! especially with Wilkinson back, also Forde skipper?

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      • December 5, 2014 at 14:44
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        Strood: I dont know if that will be the case, but he has always seemed to make a space for his captain, so it will be interesting to see how hw sets up tomorrow against a good side again, lets hope we get a few more down there so that we can make Boro feel welcome after that long journey.
        I dont mean the last bit but I do hope we get a couple of thou more than usual to make it even more hostile for them COYL!!!

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        • December 5, 2014 at 15:15
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          @Barnlion: put dunny has the holding player in mid.that would give williams more time on the ball to pick out our strikers

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          • December 6, 2014 at 07:17
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            @Jim28:
            No composure on the ball and can't pick a great pass himself, I'm a dunne fan but I'd have him at CB (not over Webster or Beevers) or right back if needed, we got players like abdou and Chaplow who could play the holding role better.

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  • December 5, 2014 at 17:42
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    3-5-2 is ok for an hour but it won't win you many football matches over 90 mins. 4-4-2 all day long Ollie.
    coyl

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    • December 6, 2014 at 07:20
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      @WestKentLion:
      Tbh it's as useful as any other formation, we don't seem to win many whatever one we go for so I'm all for a little more direct attacking play. Let's try get in front early for a change and then play with some confidence, like most teams do at home !

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    • December 6, 2014 at 10:53
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      @WestKentLion: For what is worth, Juventus won the last three Serie As playing 3-5-2, a couple of years ago finishing the season unbeaten, so 3-5-2 definitely works if your players know how to do it.

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