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Have Millwall got a chance of staying up?

As an infrequent visitor to The Den nowadays (due to work commitments), my comments about Millwall v Ipswich can only offer you an opinionated snapshot about what's I see going on at the club.

Quite honestly, when I dropped in on a Millwall game around this time last year, my view was Ian Holloway had taken on 'Mission Impossible'. There was no way that this squad he'd inherited was good enough to stay up, despite a number of them having been involved in an impressive cup run in recent memory.

The main problem then was a lack of pace throughout the side, which is not the same problem that exists today, by the looks of it today.

Nowadays, it's a back four playing like a bunch of strangers (as that's what they are at this stage) and a lack of goals upfront.

Yet, strangely, there may be some hope. New skipper Sid Nelson may be on a steep learning curve, but at least he's got character in abundance. Although, some pundits blamed him in part for the first two goals, Nelson put any disappointment behind him to put on a better performance thereafter. This bodes well for his and Millwall's future.

Then there was Stefan Maierhofer, who has returned for a second spell at the club. He was certainly a handful for Ipswich. All that's needed is his team-mates to learn to read his knock-downs. Then Millwall might plunder more goals.

Diego Fabbrini had a good run-out, although he was subbed in the second half. The Italy international must have quickly learned that he won't get much sympathy from referees, with Graham Salisbury deciding that tackles from behind are no longer a yellow card offence. Nevertheless, Fabbrini went close to scoring the opener and it was the free kick that he earned that led to Magaye Gueye's goal.

Dan Harding and Stuart Cummings (who like Fabbrini were making their home debuts) had games to forget, sadly, in a defence that never really gelled. It's too soon to right them off though, as neither did much wrong. However, it's incredibly difficult to come into a struggling side and make an instant difference, so their performances reminded us of that.

Millwall were missing Shaun Williams (suspended), Paris Cowan-Hall (calf), Nicky Bailey (calf) and Carlos Edwards (knee - out for the season), so perhaps the Lions will improve when some of those players return to the squad.

By all accounts, Millwall's performance against Ipswich was a lot better than has been seen lately, so again it could mean that Holloway is turning things around.

Holloway is still scouring the transfer market, judging by his post-match comments, to strengthen this squad, and he has over a week before the next crunch home game against Reading.

As long as Holloway can bring in a proven goalscorer, Millwall may ward off relegation for a second successive season. If not, it's difficult to see where the necessary points are going to come from.

Sent from my iPhone

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