Crystal Palace boss Patrick Vieira talks about Michael Ollis’ potential as he helps Premier League side Millwall avoid an FA Cup mess.
Summer Signing were handed only their third start of the season in a third-round tie, but barely got a kick in the first half where the Lions advanced through Benik Afob.
It was a different story when Ollis scored within 60 seconds and walked off the post after the break with a winding effort, setting up Jean-Philippe Matteta before he proved the winner in the 58th minute.
“Michael was brilliant in the second half and I think he changed the game for us,” Vieira said.
“The first 15 minutes of the second half, he was really good and showed his talent, so it was really good for us as a team.
“He scored one, hit the post and made another. He had a few occasions where he went on his left foot and didn’t hit the target. That’s one of his strengths, doing that and of course JP scoring is good for his confidence.”
A brutal Premier League side in the Dane awaits, and the decibel level rises even more when Jack Butland lost possession in expensive fashion inside his penalty area after 17 minutes.
This allowed Aphobe to tap home and raise hopes of another FA Cup blow to the Sky Bet Championship side.
Ollis had other ideas and, despite having recently celebrated his 20th birthday, brushed off an object being thrown from the stands to drive away Millwall supporters after the winner of the matcha and will hopefully be doing more Premier League games. Let’s start, especially in the African Cup of Nations with Jordan Au and Wilfried Zaha.
Vieira, on a bottle hitting Ollis, added: “No, he didn’t talk about it.
“I think having Jordan in the African Cup of Nations, it will obviously give him more time to play in the Premier League.
“The important thing is that when you look at the first half and the second half, it is two different players.
“It shows that the player has great potential but at the same time he needs time to develop himself. The game he will play in the future will help him grow.
“We know how good he can be and now it’s important for us to work together to improve that talent.”
Millwall manager Gary Rowett was disappointed that his team could not get off to a good start.
“I thought we had equipped ourselves very well for the vast majority of the game,” said the Lions boss.
“We started the first half really well and knew about the Dane’s atmosphere, it was about getting it off to an aggressive and good start which I thought we did.
“We looked good inside and out, scored a good goal. It took Butland some time and we pinched him.
“So, we looked good in the first half, but you can’t start like this for the Premier League in the second half and you can’t allow that kind of time for a player like Olis.”
Both Rowett and Vieira condemned several incidents in the stands at the Den.
Millwall fans booed visitors who took a knee before kick-off and repeatedly aimed homophobic chants at Chelsea’s indebted Conor Gallagher. Bottles were also thrown at Palace players after the second goal, while away fans fired several smoke bombs and set the pitch on fire.
“I don’t think either club wants to see those moments off the pitch, but I’m sure both will deal with those situations effectively,” Rowett insisted.
Vieira said: “We as a football club are against discrimination of any kind and it is certainly not something we want to see on the field.”