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Ian Holloway hails Millwall debutant Jack Powell

30 August 2014

Millwall manager Ian Holloway praised the performance of league debutant Jack Powell after the Lions made it three wins from their opening five Championship games against crisis-club Blackpool with a 2-1 victory at the Den.

Powell impressed Holloway in the League Cup against Southampton in the week, prompting the Millwall boss to throw him in at the deep end against Blackpool and the 20-year-old did not disappoint.

Scott McDonald scored one and assisted another as Millwall claimed all three points - the Australian international converted Jack Powell's free-kick after 33 minutes before setting up Scott Malone to make it two just after the break.

Substitute Nile Ranger got Blackpool back into the game but they were unable to grab an equaliser.

Holloway said: "Jack Powell was outstanding. He played really well against Southampton and personally I felt I was brave to put him in then.

"But he shone the other evening and I had to let Jimmy Abdou go back to France today to attend his grandfather's funeral because I think that's the right thing to do.

"That left an opportunity and I could have done other things but I know he's a nice passer of the ball. The Den can do things to people but he looked right at home.

"We got ourselves into a great situation with a brilliant goal and then we have just got to learn to manage the game.

"We conceded the most bizarre goal I have ever seen. Our centre half came up for a throw and then we didn't aim it at him. How stupid is that?

"We had no shape and then they scored. We started to panic and they put more people on.

"We ended up scraping but I'm glad we didn't throw it away because, on the balance of play, I would have been fuming had they equalised."

The Lions went in front on 33 minutes with a well-rehearsed free-kick routine. Debutant Powell sent a low free-kick into the box and McDonald, who had peeled away from his man, fired into the corner.

After the break Millwall extended their lead when McDonald sent the ball across goal and Malone popped up to smash in from four yards.

Ranger reduced Blackpool's arrears 20 minutes from time when he controlled Zoko's centre before shooting coolly into the corner.

Blackpool manager Jose Riga said: "The efficiency of the team is very important. When you have opportunities you have to put them into the net.

"We started the second half in the worst way possible. We conceded from a throw in and then after we scored and had enough opportunities to take a point and maybe more.

"The reality stays the same but I am sure that we can solve some problems but we have to improve our efficiency.

"I saw in this game the reality that we wanted it but it is hard with these levels of confidence.

"Ranger did the same in the previous game. We know his character and we know he has qualities.

"He needs to be fit and then he can be efficient in parts of the game but maybe not when he starts the game and the opponents are fresh.

"He has ability and he did well. We are missing personalities at the moment. We have people like Peter Clarke and Tony McMahon but we need other leaders and quality players."

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