With the Football League kick-off this weekend, this series of articles takes a closer look at the 24 teams vying for the £100 million Premier League bonanza.
Ian Holloway pulled off nothing short of a miracle last season by leading Millwall to safety. The Lions were bottom of the Championship and staring at the League One trap door with eight games to play when he arrived. However, an eight-match unbeaten run, including four wins, saw Millwall finish 19th and four points above the drop.
Ex-QPR and Blackpool boss Holloway will be required to call upon all his powers of motivation and persuasion if he is to convince his squad they can once again beat relegation. It could be that Holloway is the weapon that gives Millwall an advantage over their rivals.
There has been no shortage of wheeling and dealing over the summer, with Holloway freshening his squad with a mixture of experience and potential.
In Ricardo Fuller and Carlos Edwards, Holloway will know exactly what he is getting: two highly-experienced pros who know exactly what it takes at this level. Byron Webster made his mark with Yeovil last season, while Magaye Gueye could prove the ace in Holloway’s deck.
It should be another season which Millwall spend most of their time looking over their shoulder, but with Holloway in charge you just never know.
Last Season: 19th
Manager: Ian Holloway
Transfers In*: Magaye Gueye (Everton, free), Carlos Edwards (Ipswich, free), Lee Gregory (Halifax, undisclosed), Byron Webster (Yeovil, free), Ricardo Fuller (Blackpool, free), Matthew Briggs (Fulham, free)
Transfers Out*: Liam Trotter, Liam Feeney (both Bolton, free), Jack Smith (AFC Wimbeldon, free), Shane Lowry (Leyton Orient, free), Paul Robinson (Portsmouth, loan), Andy Keogh, Adam Smith (released)
One To Watch: Magaye Gueye (forward)
Former France U21 international is a signing right up Ian Holloway’s street: a player who never quite fulfilled his potential at a higher level and in need of a little nurturing and, dare I say it, managerial TLC.
Gueye may not be first choice at The Den, but he has the potential to be an explosive impact player, on his day a match-winner ( who reportedly once ran the 100m in 10.13 seconds).
With Fuller also signed, there is enormous potential for a swashbuckling forwardline at The Den and if any man has the charisma and the motivation skills to make it happen it is Holloway.
Many are tipping Millwall for the drop, but I think they will steer clear of danger and Gueye, if he can find his feet, could play a big part and earn cult hero status in South London.
Selected Odds: Champions 100-1; Promotion 25-1; Relegation 13-5
Opening Fixtures: Leeds (H), Fulham (A), Sheff Wed (A)
*correct at the time of writing
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