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Holloway 'extremely proud' of players

28 January 2015

Boss Ollie full of praise for his new-look side and the Millwall fans

Millwall manager Ian Holloway said he was 'extremely proud' of his players after they battled to a hard-fought 0-0 draw with Reading at The Den.

The Lions were reduced to 10-men on the stroke of half-time when Sid Nelson was given a straight red card - the first of his senior career - but Ollie's new-look side dug in to end a run of consecutive home defeats.

"I'm extremely proud of my players," he said. "That performance was so much more like it from us.

"It was the type of display you associate with Millwall; one which was full of commitment, desire and passion.

"I think over the course of the game we created the better chances and I'm disappointed for the lads that we couldn't win it. I think the way they performed deserved all three points.

"We have lots of work to do but I believe we can finish this season in a better way than the club has done in the last few years.

"I want this place to be buzzing again and the players, who have only just come together, look like they could do it."

Five of Millwall's January signings started the game, including debutant Jos Hooiveld, while Paris Cowan-Hall came off the bench in the second-half to make his first Lions appearance.

"Jos Hooiveld only joined us yesterday but was absolutely superb," Ollie said. "He couldn't wait to get here and play for Millwall.

"Has he put his cigar out yet? He brings a calmness to our backline and I was really pleased with him.

"Paris has only trained with us a few times but I think he showed what he could do. He has great energy and can win a header, which we all saw out there. He looked really bright.

"Diego (Fabbrini) was buzzing in the dressing room after the standing ovation he got. He is another one who couldn't wait to come here and play, and all the new signings we have got in so far this month are coming together and gelling as a group."

Alan Dunne came on for the second-half to fill Sid Nelson's position at centre-half and Ollie believes the young defender will learn an important lesson following his dismissal.

"I'm not sure that the challenge deserved a red card but Sid can learn from that," he said.

"He was winning so many tackles up to that point but sometimes you are better to drop off and hold your position.

"Sid is a great lad though and he will come again, there's no doubt about that."

Ollie praised the Millwall supporters for their backing throughout the 90 minutes, adding: "The fans were absolutely magnificent and drove the players on.

"They created a wonderful atmosphere and that really helped us. You could see that the fans responded to what the players were doing, and that then gives the team a boost.

"We all want to give them a team that they can be proud of and that is what I told the players before the game.

"Hopefully the fans went home feeling positive about what lies ahead."

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