• 50-year-old takes over at Championship strugglers
• Holloway left Crystal Palace in October
Ian Holloway has made a swift return to management in south London after signing a two-and-a-half year contract to become Millwall's new manager.
The 50-year-old secured Crystal Palace's promotion to the Premier League via the play-offs after an eight-year absence in May before departing Selhurst Park in October following a miserable start to the campaign. At the time he had admitted to feeling drained and being in need of a break to recharge his batteries after a hectic and pressurised few months at Palace, though he has since decided he is ready to return to management.
Talks took place with Millwall over the weekend and concluded on Monday, with the challenge awaiting the Championship club looking considerable. The team are 21st in the second tier, a point clear of the relegation zone, with only one victory in nine matches in all competitions since November. Millwall's last manager, Steve Lomas, was sacked in the wake of a 4-0 defeat at Watford on Boxing Day, with the side humiliated 4-1 at League Two Southend United in the FA Cup third round on Saturday.
Holloway, who oversaw Leicester's relegation to League One in 2008, has spent successful spells at Blackpool, Queens Park Rangers and Plymouth Argyle after starting out with Bristol Rovers. His first match in charge will be Saturday's trip to Huddersfield.
The Millwall chairman, John Berylson, feels he has found the right man to guide them up the table following Lomas's brief and disappointing spell in charge. The American also promised to back Holloway in the transfer market this month.
"The fact that we have been able to attract someone of Ian's calibre and track record is testament to the fact that he shares our view of the potential we have to progress as a club and to move forward," he said in a statement.
"In our determination to bring Ian in on a two-and-a-half-year contract, we have demonstrated both the level of our ambition and commitment towards re-establishing ourselves as a competitive Championship club, and in due course challenging towards the top end of this division.
"We are under no illusions that our first priority under Ian's leadership is to ensure we maintain our Championship status. The new manager inherits an experienced and talented squad that has not been playing to its potential so far this season. He will receive the backing of the board to strengthen as he deems necessary."