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Robbo: Pressure points

17 March 2014

Games in hand mean nothing if you don't win them



London 24

Millwall skipper hits back at Charlton star's claim
Millwall captain Paul Robinson poured scorn on Michael Morrison's assessment that the Lions would rather be in Charlton's shoes.

The Addicks are three points behind their south London rivals but do have four games in hand.

The question of points on the board over games in hand has raged for several seasons and it appears, for a number of people, to change depending on the situation.

The 26-year-old claimed: "If you ask Millwall or us which position they'd rather be in they'd rather be in our position.

"You'd rather be relying on yourself. If you don't achieve it then you've only let yourselves down rather than hoping someone else makes mistakes."

Robinson, on the other side of the coin, naturally disagreed with that assessment.

"I don't know about that," he said. "They may have games in hand but we've got more points than them.

"They've got a lot of games to play now in a short space of time and that pressure builds as each game drifts by.

"We were in exactly the same situation last season, thinking we were okay because we had games in hand, but we didn't win any of them and it caught up with us towards the end.

"It's a difficult one - I'll tell you at the end of the season which position I'd rather be in, but obviously we'll be trying our hardest to stay in this division."

The Lions missed a chance to move six points clear of Charlton on Saturday afternoon but Robinson looked to take the positives out of the 0-0 draw.

"We had a lot of pressure in the second half especially but we just couldn't find that cutting edge at times," he added.

"It was a very hard-fought and honest local derby and both teamswere working incredibly hard to try and get the points.

"Maybe that resulted in the two teams cancelling each other out. We had some chances and some set pieces but we didn't capitalise on those.

"As a defender, I'll take the clean sheet and be happy with that, and a draw was probably a fair result on the day."

Millwall are only just outside the relegation zone but the defender insisted that the Lions are not feeling the pressure as the business end of the season arrives.

He explained: "It wasn't too bad because our manager is brilliant at keeping things calm, relaxed and focused.

"We had the trip up to Blackpool on Tuesday night and were disappointed with that, but when the games come thick and fast there’s not much time to think about them.

"We're aware of the situation and there was a really big effort to get the points but unfortunately we couldn't do so."

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Lions chief backing Maierhofer to fire Millwall to safety
Ian Holloway hopes new giant striker Stefan Maierhofer can help Millwall find their goal scoring form and avoid relegation from the Championship.

A 0-0 draw against Charlton at The Den on Saturday meant Holloway's side have now scored just once in the last five games and did nothing to ease their relegation fears.

But the Millwall boss has his fingers crossed the arrival of the 31-year-old 6ft7in Austrian, who signed last week on a short-term deal, will lead to more chances for his team in front of goal.

Holloway said: "The big man - we have got to learn how to use him well enough. I have got to get him a bit fitter but he can cause all sorts of things.

"I think he has given the lads a lot of belief and that we will be able to get a different type of chance."

Maierhofer is no stranger to the English game having previously had spells at Wolves and Bristol City, joining Millwall late last week as a free agent having left German side FC Cologne in the summer.

Holloway said: "At this time of the year you don’t normally get anyone with a brilliant goal-scoring record that nobody wants.

"At the minute, my cake doesn't taste right.

"We need different ingredients and he is going to unlock all sorts of doors.

"Hopefully we will be a different proposition now and we can get some goals from set plays. I think we are much more solid than we have been.

"Games are getting tight now and we also need to score an ugly goal.

"I'm not saying Stefan is ugly - he is quite a good-looking chap - but he is big enough to knock things down and get my other strikers scoring as well."

Holloway also praised the impact of 17-year-old winger Fred Onyedinma, who started on the left side of midfield and caused Charlton's defence a number of problems.

"He has got everything,” the Lions chief said.

"Until he has played another 99 games he isn't really a pro yet.

"I had no qualms about playing him and I thought the lads were great. I thought he handed the game well and the crowd loved him.

"He has got all sorts of abilities and he is a box of tricks.

"I believe in a lot of the young lads we have got at this club and if I have got to use them then that’s what I will do."

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