Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

The Delicate Must Beware as Dennis Plots His Next Move in the Millwall Success Cycle

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

The Delicate Must Beware as Dennis Plots His Next Move in the Millwall Success Cycle

Article excerpt

Byline: IAN CHADBAND

DENNIS WISE reckoned he would love to sit down with Sir Alex Ferguson for half-an-hour and tap the great man's brains about the art of football management.

The Manchester United boss, in return, would get the chance to be educated in the art of washing machine maintenance.

"Yeah, things like washing machines. You've got people to sort things out like that for you in the Premiership," reflected Wise enviously as he pondered the deflatingly anticlimactic ending to his first season in charge at Millwall.

While Ferguson, hungry for another crack at Arsenal, promised to enjoy a stress-free summer plotting their downfall, poor old Wisey's weary lament that "I'm enjoying it - but I need a holiday" could not conceal his concerns about how he can top Millwall's great adventure when he returns.

Without enlightening us over what exactly was preoccupying him about Millwall's launderette, Wise smiled that nobody had told him how hard this job was, what with those 6.30am starts while trying to hold down a playing career too.

Yet he knows the hard part only really starts next season.

His problem is expectation levels have shot up at The Den.

Even Ferguson suggested last week Millwall could make a few waves in the UEFA Cup next term if they had self-belief and ambition. Not if they play like they did on Saturday, though.

The self-belief was nowhere in evidence and the ambition may only be gauged by how much of the estimated [pounds sterling]4million made from the Cup run is invested by chairman Theo Paphitis into a squad which, on Saturday's evidence, would have been utterly out of their depth had they made it to the Premiership this season.

Wise made it sound as if he and assistant Ray Wilkins were men in a hurry.

"We've only got one season left in charge so we want to have a go and bring in some players we want," said Wise, evidently feeling they have already achieved enough for him to now back their judgment with some hard cash. …

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