Ian Holloway promised to restore Millwall’s shattered morale after his first game in charge of the Championship strugglers ended in a painful 1-0 loss at Huddersfield.
Holloway is back in management just two months after quitting Crystal Palace and claiming he had been left exhausted by their dismal start to the Premier League campaign.
The 50-year-old was persuaded to return by the passion of Millwall’s American owner John Berylson and he insisted he has quickly rediscovered his own enthusiasm, despite a frustrating welcome back to the dug-out in Yorkshire on Saturday.
“I said I was tired but I didn’t say I was tired of football,” Holloway said.
Former Blackpool and QPR boss Holloway and his new players returned to south London empty-handed thanks to a cruel 89th-minute winner for Huddersfield’s debutant striker Nahki Wells, who fired home after a poor back-header from Millwall defender Jack Smith.
The defeat left Millwall, who have the worst defensive record in the second tier, perched precariously just one point and one place above the relegation zone.
But Holloway remains convinced he can stave off the threat of relegation by restoring belief in the Lions.
“It was a performance that deserved a point but welcome to the Championship!” Holloway said.
“There was not a lot of confidence and when you have been losing it is hard. I want to make the players feel my pride and passion.
“I have to get my staff sorted and make some quick snap decisions and bring people in to help.”
Burnley manager Sean Dyche insists Danny Ings will not be prised away from his promotion-chasing side during this transfer window.
Clarets striker Ings fired an unstoppable opener in Burnley’s 2-1 victory over Yeovil at Huish Park to take his tally this campaign to 21 goals.
Dyche, whose second placed team are four points behind leaders Leicester, said: “There has been speculation ever since I have been here over our players, whether it’s Ings, Sam Vokes or Charlie Austin.
“There is naturally going to be interest when players are doing well. It’s good that there are people interested but I don’t envisage him leaving any time soon. Certainly not in January.”
QPR assistant boss Kevin Bond hailed his third placed side’s clinical finishing after three-second half goals gave them a 3-1 win at Ipswich.
The pursuit of Premier League football has seen QPR build the meanest defence in the Championship but they have found goals hard to come by.
That all changed with three in 23 minutes as QPR put Ipswich to the sword.
“We have found goals hard to come by so to score three today was excellent,” Bond said.
“It was always going to be a difficult game as they have been on a terrific run. Ipswich started very brightly and had a couple of good opportunities.
“But we came back into the game and we were much better in the second half.”
Elsewhere, fifth placed Nottingham Forest had to settle for a 1-1 draw against Bolton at the Reebok Stadium.
David Lopez hit the only goal as sixth placed Brighton boosted their play-off challenge with a 1-0 win at the Amex Stadium to end Birmingham’s 10-match unbeaten run.
Sheffield Wednesday eased their relegation fears with a 6-0 thrashing of 10-man Leeds at Hillsborough.
Wigan crushed Bournemouth 3-0, while Reading won 1-0 at Watford.