Lions secure first win in 8 as Pearce leaves Forest

Saturday proved to be a fantastic day for Millwall as we managed to produce our first win since beating Brighton in early December. The lions proved worthy winners at the City Ground, beating Forest by a goal to nil thanks to Ricardo Fuller’s late winner. The game itself was a good game of football, we looked competent on the ball going forward with decent and patient build up play thanks to the presence of Shaun Williams and Diego Fabbrini. The little Italian was again superb on the weekend, being involved in everything good about our side. Despite starting in the number 10 role of a 4-2-3-1, Fabbrini found himself quickly on the right hand side after an early injury to Lee Martin, who is waiting on results of a scan on potential broken ribs. This didn’t deter the performance of Fabbrini, quick and direct with the ball, the little Italian constantly took on his marker, at times having 3 or 4 players from Forest surrounding him. It sparked a couple of new chants for the little man as you can find below:

Aside from the superb Fabbrini others in the side were again superb, two games for the Lions and two clean sheets for Jos Hooiveld, a superb addition from Southampton. Again calm on the ball, the centre half was not scared to bring the ball out, along with having the pace and power to deal with Assombalonga, also worth praising Alan Dunne who came in and done a proper performance. Special mention too goes to Mark Beevers, obviously not a natural left back, he was superb with his timing of challenges and also contributed to a couple of attacks, having a couple of wayward shots too. Defeat spelt the end for Pearce at Forest, another scalp to be added to the long list of managers sacked after losing to Millwall. Is it that bad to lose to us?

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Here are my match ratings from the game, what would your ratings be?

Forde – 7 – Workman like, dealt with anything thrown his way, claiming corners with ease and also saving a couple of rare shots from Forest, in particular in the first half after a defensive mistake.

Cummings – 6 – Might be a bit harsh but the full back still hasn’t impressed me quite yet, was solid defensively however going forward when the chance presented itself for a ball in the box the delivery was often poor. Believe he will be a good addition however needs a couple of more games to get up to speed.

Dunne – 7 – Done what was asked of him, looked like he wanted to prove a couple of doubters wrong and this performance will prove to Holloway that if needed, he can be depended on.

Hooiveld – 8 – great positioning, timing of challenge, composure on the ball, heading, marking. The Dutch centre half could be what saves us this season, Hooiveld again really impressed and if his form continues we need to think about calling him back next season.

Beevers – 8 – Out of natural position but Beevers proved dependable and consistent on Saturday. Dealing with the pace and skill of Forest wingers he looked like a natural full back, deserves a lot of credit for coming back after his sending off at Bradford.

Williams – 7 – A performance we come to expect of Williams, solid on the ball and a couple of crunching tackles here or there, a missing link when suspended recently.

Abdou – 7 – Always a 6 or 7 out of 10 you know what you get out of Jimmy Abdou, quietly wen about his job nullifying the effect of Henri Lansbury in the Forest midfield.

Martin – 5 – Subbed early on, didn’t look to impressive before the injury.

Fabbrini – 9 – Run out of words for this amazing player, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a player like him in our side. As mentioned earlier superb on the ball, by the end the Forest players were looking to get him out of the game. Can’t wait for another Fabbrini performance.

Gueye – 6 – Started well but faded as the game went on before being subbed in the second half, looked a solid winger for our side, tracked back well against Todd Kane of Forest.

HOF – 5 – Looked a bit out of place in the side, struggling to win headers despite his shape and size. However playing away from home you need a player like him in the side and worked hard as he always does.

Upson – 7 – Coming on for Martin Upson then moved into an attacking midfield position behind the HOF, looked very solid, carrying the ball well and calming influence on the ball. Justifies his selection and hope he gets more of a run in the side.

Gregory – 6 – Not too long to impress but worked hard as always and looking more relaxed on the ball.

Fuller – 7 – Coming on as a sub to score the winner, the perfect impact I’m sure Holloway hoped for, been unfair on Fuller this season, as at his age we shouldn’t be relying on him like we did at points.

Moving on now we are at the deadline of the transfer window! With the unfortunate injury to Cowan-Hall seeing him out for a number of weeks Holloway needs to bring in a winger and another striker. Luke Varney is being mentioned, not my first choice but can come in and do a job for us, being able to play in a few different roles is a bonus. As for a striker I’d like to see us go for a loan from the Premier League, however this could wait for the emergency loan window in a couple of weeks time.

Thanks for reading my match review, have a great week.

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