Millwall: Ian Holloway sacking 'no surprise', says Matt Lawrence

Ian Holloway
Millwall have won just three games since October

Millwall's decision to sack manager Ian Holloway was not a surprise, according to former Lions defender Matt Lawrence.

Holloway was dismissed on Tuesday with the south London club 23rd in the Championship, eight points from safety.

"I think everybody knew this was coming. Most people are surprised it has taken this long," Lawrence, 40, told BBC London 94.9.

"The fans completely turned and the minute you lose the fans your time is up and it is time to move on."

Holloway was appointed Millwall manager in January 2014 and guided the south London club to safety last season.

The Lions started the new campaign with three wins in their first five matches, but chairman John Berylson took the decision to sack the former QPR and Crystal Palace boss after a run of five defeats in six games.

"I initially thought Ian Holloway would be a wonderful fit for Millwall, but things haven't worked out for whatever reason," added Lawrence, who made 263 appearances for Millwall between 2000 and 2006.

"Hopefully now everyone can move on and try and drag Millwall out of the terrible situation they are in."

Ian Holloway's Millwall record
Played: 62Won: 14Drawn: 19Lost: 29

Holloway was backed by American businessman Berylson in the January transfer window, bringing in eight new players and letting nine others leave The Den.

However, Lawrence believes the timing of his sacking may have come too late to save Millwall from relegation, with former Lions striker Neil Harris now in caretaker charge.

"If it had have happened in January then a new manager could have come in and brought some of his own players in," said Lawrence.

"Neil has got to work with the squad he has got.

"They are three wins behind teams in safety above them and I think that is too much. They have been abysmal for the last three or four months, if not for large swathes of the season.

"I thought the loss at Rotherham would be the end for them and I still have to go along with that."

Matt Lawrence
Lawrence (right) played for Millwall in the 2004 FA Cup final defeat by Manchester United

Lawrence played alongside Harris during his spell at Millwall and says his former team-mate has been handed "a tough job".

"I hope it doesn't harm his coaching abilities and his career in the future, as I know full well that he wants to be a manager," he said.

"He possesses all the qualities in the long term. In the short term I think it would be very hard for any manager to turn things around.

"I hope he doesn't get too down if they get relegated."