Pragmatism appeals to Millwall boss ahead of festive period

© Edmund Boyden
© Edmund Boyden

STEVE Lomas admits he is likely to take a more pragmatic approach to his team selection and tactics over a make-or-break run of games in Millwall’s season.

The Lions’ need for wins is greater than ever after they slipped to within three points of the relegation zone in midweek.

And Lomas knows that his side’s results over the festive period are likely to determine whether or not the campaign descends into a battle against relegation in the New Year.

Having frequently played with one lone striker in previous matches, Millwall reverted to a traditional 4-4-2 formation against Nottingham Forest on Tuesday – with some success.

Lomas has been attempting to introduce a more possession-based style of play since his appointment in the summer but could now go back to basics in order to get results.

“Ultimately it is horses for courses and we have to be practical,” he said. “The media get wrapped up in formations an awful lot but, unless you’ve got the players to execute them, systems mean very little.

“Of course I am looking at the league table so we need to get some wins over this Christmas period – two or three victories can really boost you – but that is easier said than done and talk is cheap.

“When we play on the front foot with intensity and passion, we are a good team. Whenever we are slow and hesitant, we’re not a good team. For me it’s as simple as that.

“A slow style of play has never really been associated with Millwall so we have got to play at a quick tempo regardless of which formation we are using.

“Moving the ball quickly and effectively, and not dwelling on it, is very important, but that doesn’t mean we have to hoof it forward.

“When you go a bit more direct, the quality has to be good and you have got to have willing runners and chasers.”

Lomas added: “We were playing one up front for a variety of reasons, the main one being that it suited our players.

“That set up was certainly getting the best out of Liam Trotter, who was scoring goals and making goals, so we can be flexible.

“We have created a lot of chances in most games this season, so I haven’t got a problem with that side of our play – it is just cutting out our Achilles’ heel of conceding sloppy goals, which hurt us against Forest.”