HOW Ian Holloway must wish Millwall’s relegation decider was scheduled for Dean Court.
Having endured a turbulent start to life at the Den, the Lions manager, admired by the football fraternity as much for his madcap sound bites as his on-field achievements, appears to have steered his ship to calmer waters with an unbeaten run during April.
Unexpected victories at Nottingham Forest (2-1), Wigan Athletic (1-0) and Middlesbrough (2-1) have proved the cornerstone of Millwall’s fight from the foot of the table at the back end of March to having their fate in their own hands going into tomorrow’s final showdown against Cherries.
From being bottom of the pile and three points adrift of safety following a 3-2 defeat to Birmingham City, a seven-match unbeaten run has seen the south-east Londoners clamber out of the drop zone.
But despite their fine fettle on the road, Lions have not been able to break their home hoodoo, failing to win in nine matches at the Den since Holloway won his first home match against Ipswich (1-0) on January 18.
Only a victory would ensure Millwall’s second-tier status, but Birmingham have to win at Bolton Wanderers and Doncaster Rovers need at least a point from their trip to champions Leicester City to drag Lions into the bottom three.
Should they fail to avoid the drop, it would be the eccentric Holloway’s second relegation from the Championship having presided over Leicester’s exit from the top two tiers of English football in 2008.
Since then, though, he has defied the odds to guide Blackpool and Crystal Palace to the Premier League.