As Millwall approach their biggest match of the season and perhaps since promotion back to the Championship in 2010, the general feeling amongst the fans is that manager Ian Holloway might be approaching the end of his time at the club. Millwall are currently 22nd, three points behind Rotherham and the two teams meet at the New York Stadium on Saturday, in a match that could go a long way in determining both club’s immediate futures.
A defeat for Millwall would be disastrous and a six-point gap could prove too steep a gap to overturn. It could also cost Holloway his job as fans were becoming increasingly frustrated with their boss after the disappointing 3-1 home defeat to Sheffield Wednesday, midweek.
With no home win in their last ten at the Den – the last coming in a 1-0 win over Cardiff in October – and Holloway seemingly unable to get the best out of his players, the Millwall boss has struggled since taking over in January 2014. The Lions managed to stay up last season by four points but he hasn’t been able to kick-start their Championship stay which other than their first season back, has been quite a struggle. Holloway has led his side to just 14 wins in 59 matches at a win percentage of under 24, where the club’s home form has been a real cause for concern.
Holloway is a manager who has a great track record in this league, since first arriving after leading QPR to promotion in 2004. After successful spells at QPR and Plymouth, Holloway joined Leicester where he was in charge when the Foxes were relegated to League One for the first time in the clubs history. Despite this, he took charge of Blackpool in 2009 and led them to an incredible promotion campaign in his first year as boss.
He couldn’t stop Blackpool from relegation in their first season in the Premier League, but won over a lot of people due to their gutsy performances throughout the campaign. After a heartbreaking play-off final defeat to Cardiff in 2012, Holloway left to join Crystal Palace where once again he led a side to the promised land and at the first time of asking. He decided to leave in October 2013 but since taking over at the Den, things haven’t quite gone as planned and he hasn’t been able to take them to the next level.
Whilst Millwall aren’t necessarily going to be a club that will challenge for promotion every season, they have shown they belong at this level. The team are usually hard to beat at home but under Holloway have an extremely poor record at the Den, which has left many fans calling for the manager’s head.
Holloway has led two teams to promotion to the Premier League but has been in this situation before where he couldn’t save Leicester from relegation. A manager who has achieved great success in the Football League, his time at Millwall clearly hasn’t worked out and it might be the time for both parties to go their separate ways. The Rotherham clash on Saturday is one in which the whole season rests on and could potentially be Ian Holloway’s last in his feckless reign as Millwall manager.