Opposition watch: Millwall

The low-down on this weekend's opponents from the capital

A clash which at present is narrowly edged by Millwall in terms of victories with 16 as opposed to Bolton’s 15, Saturday’s meeting will be just the fifth between the two sides in two decades.

With the game between the two sides earlier in the season providing Wanderers with their first home victory of the campaign courtesy of goals from Rob Hall, Jermaine Beckford and Andre Moritz in a 3-1 win, the Lions will no doubt take solace from the last time the teams clashed at The Den back in October 2012.

A game which looked destined for a stalemate after Chris Eagles had cancelled out Darius Henderson’s early opener, the striker proceeded to break Bolton hearts with a 90th minute winner.

Fast forward 14 months however and with both clubs in need of victory this weekend, Saturday’s clash looks certain to have all the makings of a true classic.

With 2013 proving to be a year of change at The Den, Millwall will be hoping that 2014 brings a change in fortunes for the London based club.

Following a summer of upheaval that included the departure of long standing manager Kenny Jackett after almost six years in the Lions’ hotseat, Millwall headed into the new campaign looking to improve upon their 20th place finish in the 2012/13 league standings.

Just two points separated the Lions from relegated Peterborough, with their close shave with the drop prompting the club to bring in reinforcements in the shape of experienced heads such as Steve Morison and Martyn Waghorn.

The arrival of these players amongst many others has ensured that Millwall at present sit outside the drop zone, albeit by just three points.

The installation of Steve Lomas as manager was met with a mixed reaction given the former Northern Ireland international’s affiliations with the Lions’ arch rivals West Ham United, with Lomas beginning his tenure as Millwall boss with three straight league defeats.

A baptism of fire for the former midfielder, his side answered their critics in style in September by recording three impressive victories over Blackpool, Charlton and Leeds United.

Sadly for the Londoners however, their upturn in fortunes did not last and the Lions went onto record just two more victories before Lomas was relieved of his duties following defeat against Watford on Boxing Day.

With the team sitting just a point away from a relegation berth, the club moved quickly to bring the experienced Ian Holloway to the club during the first week of January.

Having seen his side record three defeats, two draws and one victory since his arrival, Holloway will no doubt be aiming to eradicate the Lions’ inconsistency during the remaining months of the campaign and maintain their Championship status come May.
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