Ollie sure Li­ons can claw clear

The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By Raj Man­gat

MILL­WALL boss Ian Holloway is adamant his side can beat the drop de­spite a goal­less draw with fel­low strug­glers Ful­ham leav­ing the Li­ons three points from safety.

Lee Gre­gory missed the best chance for the hosts, some­how fir­ing over from close range af­ter Jimmy Ab­dou’s danger­ous cross.

Hugo Ro­dal­lega thought he had won it for the vis­i­tors with six min­utes left only for his ef­fort to be ruled out for off­side.

Holloway con­cedes his team needs to be more clin­i­cal in front of goal, but be­lieves they have what it takes to avoid rel­e­ga­tion.

“The truth is we’ve taken four points out of six against Ful­ham and now we’ve got to try and do that against more teams and if we do I think we’ll be safe com­fort­ably,” he said.

“I thought we de­served to win. That’s as good as we’ve been, apart from the goal. That’s the most crosses we’ve had in a long time, but un­for­tu­nately we’ve had 16 ef­forts at goal and only four on tar­get, so that’s what we’ve got to work on.

“But I asked the team to take the game to Ful­ham and be on the front foot and I thought we were at the start of both halves. They looked danger­ous on the counter- attack just be­fore half-time but af­ter the break we didn’t feel they did and luck­ily the lines­man got his job right be­cause Ro­dal­lega was off­side.”

It was a bright start from the hosts and they should have gone ahead on 12 min­utes, but Gre­gory turned over the bar from close range af­ter Ab­dou’s cross.

Ful­ham re­sponded but Alex Ka­caniklic’s shot was pushed away by David Forde af­ter Lasse Vi­gen Chris­tensen’s counter down the right.

Mill­wall hit back but the danger­ous Diego Fab­brini’s cross nar­rowly evaded the head of Mar­tyn Wool­ford.

Ful­ham al­most went ahead be­fore the break but Ka­caniklic curled an ef­fort just wide, be­fore Ro­dal­lega rip­pled the side-netting. The Li­ons be­gan the sec­ond half well but a light­ning counter al­most ended with Ro­dal­lega con­vert­ing Ryan Tun­ni­cliffe’s pass.

Ful­ham threw on Bryan Ruiz for a first ap­pear­ance since a Jan­uary switch to Le­vante fell through, while Gary Tay­lor-Fletcher came on for his Mill­wall de­but af­ter join­ing on loan from Le­ices­ter City.

But it was the vis­i­tors who looked the more danger­ous and Ro­dal­lega was de­nied a win­ning goal on 84 min­utes as the points were shared.

Ful­ham boss Kit Sy­mons was left dis­ap­pointed not to have won and, con­trary to Holloway, thinks Ro­dal­lega’s goal should have stood.

“I’ve seen the dis­al­lowed goal again, and it should have stood, so I’m dis­ap­pointed not to have nicked it but points are im­por­tant and we’re thank­ful of the one we’ve got,” Sy­mons said.

“It was prob­a­bly the right re­sult in the end. They had the bet­ter pos­ses­sion and pres­sure in the first half, but I thought we were the ones push­ing for­ward in the sec­ond half.

“If the goal did stand, it would have capped off a fan­tas­tic day – a clean sheet away from home and all three-points but it wasn’t to be.

“But it was a hard-fought per­for­mance, and the play­ers showed a lot of en­deav­our and a lot of ef­fort.

“I thought we looked very danger­ous on the counter-attack but just lacked the ex­tra bit of qual­ity when it counted.”

PIC­TURES: Ac­tion Images

JUMP: Dan Harding wins the ball

AL­MOST! Hugo Ro­dal­lega slams home for Ful­ham only for his ef­fort to be chalked off for off­side

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.