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Ollie's 'greatest achievement'

3 May 2014

Manager beaming with pride after Championship survival

Ian Holloway described steering Millwall to Championship safety as the greatest achievement of his managerial career after Martyn Woolford's first-half header secured the result The Lions needed against Bournemouth.

Ollie's men entered the game knowing all three points would be enough, and Woolford duly delivered the all-important goal with a classy header from Owen Garvan's cross.

"I'm so chuffed for everybody associated with this great football club," a delighted Ollie said. "Millwall is a great place to be for a manager and I'm so proud to be here.

"We've got a proper Millwall team now. The professionalism we showed in training this week, at the hotel last night and today was bang on. I can't fault anybody for what they have given the football club."

A bumper crowd of close to 16,000 created a phenomenal atmosphere inside The Den, and Ollie was full of praise and gratitude for the home fans.

"I'm delighted for the supporters, I really am. I want to thank every single one of them because they were magnificent. They deserve what we have achieved.

"The atmosphere they created was something else, and that's how I want this place to be every week. I want to put together a team that entertains them."

Millwall sat bottom of the table after the March draw with Blackburn, but The Lions end the season eight games unbeaten, a run which Ollie believes provides a good platform for the 2014/15 campaign.

"We had to keep our minds in every game and not become obsessed with the results. I'm proud of the players because they did exactly that.

"Other teams and other clubs might have been dead and buried after that late equaliser at home to Blackburn, but not this Millwall team. We had to improve as a group, and what we have in that dressing room is a real collective.

"A lot goes back to that game in training when the team I was going to play up at (Nottingham) Forest lost 6-0 to the players I didn't pick.

"Alan Dunne came out from under a stone to have a few strong words, so I gave him the captaincy. What a leader he has been. Look at him, Nicky Bailey, who wasn't quite fit when I picked him for Forest, Lee Martin; I could go on and on. Paul Robinson summed it up today, coming off the bench - which isn't easy - to play like he's been there all his life."

This season's Player of the Year dinner takes place on Sunday evening, after which Ollie will sit down with John Berylson and the Board to discuss the future.

"I can't wait to put some plans in place," he said. "It's a big summer for this football club, and I've already put plenty of my ideas down onto paper.

"We've already started improving the pitch over on the training ground and we will look at what we can do at The Den. I want to play some really good football, so the pitch is important."

He added: "Look at what Burnley have done this season. It just goes to show how important putting the correct structure in place can be. Sometimes it's not about budgets, it's about the work you put in to achieve your goals. I can't wait to get stuck in over the summer."



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