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What The Papers Said

22 April 2014

Media round-up of Donny draw

Daily Star

Ian Holloway claims the gloom has lifted after this crucial point against 10-man relegation rivals Doncaster.

The Millwall manager now has former club QPR in his sights on Saturday as he looks to steer his men to safety.

"With two to go we've given ourselves a good chance and hopefully we'll have better luck than we have today," said Holloway.

"It was doom and gloom, but not now. Let's go over to QPR, I'll be buzzing with that fixture.

"I haven't been there for a while and I'd like to absolutely smash them all over the place."

Neither side had created a chance until Abdoulaye Meite was given a straight red card for a lunge on striker Stefan Maierhofer.

Sensing blood Holloway sent on striker Steve Morison at half-time as the home side went for the jugular.

And Morison was at the heart of Millwall's best chances as he forced Sam Johnstone into an acrobatic save on 55 minutes with a swerving volley from the edge of the area.

Four minutes later Morison then inexplicably headed over Lee Martin's cross from five yards out.

Doncaster looked to have a good shout for a penalty on 63 minutes.

Millwall keeper David Forde spilled a cross before colliding with Chris Brown as he tried to gather, but the visitors' claims were waved away.

"Let's go over to QPR, I'll be buzzing with that fixture. I haven't been there for a while and I'd like to absolutely smash them all over the place"

"How that decision has not been given is beyond me," said Doncaster boss Paul Dickov. "Why would your centre forward fall over six yards out with a free goal?"

Daily Telegraph

Both of these teams remain just a point above the relegation zone with two matches left following a nervy, goalless draw during which Doncaster Rovers played the second half with 10 men.

"I'm immensely proud of the players for their second-half performance," said Paul Dickov, Rovers' manager.

"It wasn't pretty to watch sometimes but to defend the way we did for so long 10 men is massive credit to the players."

A year after lifting Crystal Palace out of the Championship, Ian Holloway is now trying to keep their near neighbours in it but this was a golden opportunity missed for the Millwall manager.

"I'm pleased with the performance. I thought it was only a matter of time before we scored. I still can’t believe we haven’t really," he said.

"I thought we looked like a half decent team out there. We were the better team, the stats will show that.

"I wish it was the end of the season. Unfortunately we're on the end of an absolute mauling for three quarters of the season," he added as Millwall's unbeaten run extended to six.

Though the Den retains a reputation for its intimidating atmosphere, Millwall have not won there since January, a statistic that may cost them their place in the league.

With tension evident from all corners of the ground, both sides had found chances hard to come by in the opening half hour.

Scott McDonald shot powerfully at goal for Millwall but saw his shot deflected wide whilst Chris Brown almost connected with Enda Stevens’ chipped cross for Doncaster.

The game mirrored the combative nature of both managers but was short on quality. Lee Martin ought to have shot on target as he reached the end of his jinking run from the right wing but his delay allowed Abdoulaye Méïté to intervene at the crucial moment.

That was the Ivorian's penultimate contriubtion action as he was shown a red card for a high challenge on former Bayern Munich striker Stefan Maierhofer, handing the advantage to Millwall. "Ian Holloway hit the nail on the head at the time when he said it's debatable if it's a yellow," Dickov said. "In a game of this magnitude it’s the wrong decision."

Millwall laid siege to Doncaster’s goal after the break. Shaun Williams' ferocious shot brought a full-stretch save from Sam Johnstone before Rovers’ goalkeeper made an even better save from Steve Morison's half-volley. Morison then headed Lee Martin's corner against the bar.

Holloway introduced Simeon Jackson and Jermaine Easter in the hope of getting the goal that would keep Millwall out of the bottom three. It did not work. Doncaster positioned all of their remaining players behind the ball and dug in. "We had enough of the play to have won that game," said Scott McDonald, the Millwall striker. "It’s all to play for."

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