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B'mouth 19:45 Watford

Championship: Millwall survival my best achievement yet, says Ian Holloway

Last Updated: 03/05/14 4:16pm

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Ian Holloway: Hailed his best achievement yet

Ian Holloway: Hailed his best achievement yet

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Ian Holloway claimed saving Millwall from relegation was the greatest achievement of his managerial career.

The Lions secured their Sky Bet Championship survival with a 1-0 win over Bournemouth, thanks to Martyn Woolford's first-half header.

Victory provided Holloway with a successful end to an eventful campaign, which began with him struggling to adapt to the Premier League with Crystal Palace and ended with him keeping their south London rivals out of League One.

Things looked bleak for the Lions when he replaced Steve Lomas in December, and did not improve for the first couple of months. But Holloway, who has guided Palace, Blackpool and QPR to promotions in the past, conjured up a run of eight matches unbeaten when it mattered most to keep Millwall's heads above water.

"I'm so chuffed for everyone associated with this great football club," said a jubilant Holloway. "It's the greatest achievement of my managerial career. We've got a proper Millwall team now.

"It's the greatest achievement of my managerial career. We've got a proper Millwall team now."
Ian Holloway

"Everybody's rallied, everyone's been honest and hard-working. We could have capitulated but it's typical of this place, we've grabbed it by the bootstraps.

"The professionalism we showed was bang on. I can't fault anybody and I'm so proud.

"But boy, we don't half make it tough, don't we? We were staring down the barrel and we have come through.

"Now I can't wait to put a plan in place with the chairman and the board. It's going to be a big summer."

Steve Morison had already crashed a volley against the crossbar when Woolford grabbed the crucial goal with a glancing header from Scott Malone's 29th-minute cross.

The Lions could have had more but Morison was again denied by the woodwork, while Simeon Jackson missed two one-on-ones with Cherries goalkeeper Lee Camp.

However, they needed keeper David Forde to be at his best in the second half with vital saves to deny Shaun MacDonald, Andrew Surman and Tokelo Rantie.

Despite the defeat Bournemouth will look back on a promising first season back in the Championship which has culminated in their highest-ever league finish of 10th.

Manager Eddie Howe said: "I thought it was a poor-quality game from both sides, but under the circumstances that was understandable.

"We got caught up in the atmosphere and didn't play to our normal level. We had a spell on top during the second half but found their keeper in good form.

"But it's been a very good season, we have improved from the first half of the season and I've been impressed with how the team has developed.

"If we can keep this group together and maybe add to it, we will be stronger next season."

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