Ian Holloway

The Managers: Ian Holloway, 2007-2008

Ian Holloway was Leicester City’s manager for the Club's relegation to the third tier of English football for the first and only time in its history.
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As a player, Holloway had spent five seasons playing at the top level with Queens Park Rangers between 1991 and 1996, where he was as a teammate of former Fox, Andy Impey.

Prior to his move to Loftus Road, Holloway spent two spells, totalling eight seasons, at his hometown team, Bristol Rovers. He also played for Wimbledon, Brentford, and Torquay.

In August 1996, he went to Bristol Rovers for the third time, this time as player-manager, narrowly missing out on promotion to the Championship in 2000.

He returned to QPR as manager in February 2001. Although he failed to prevent them from being relegated from the Championship, he rebuilt the side in League 1, reaching the play-offs in 2003.

They were promoted automatically in 2004 and consolidated a healthy mid-table position in the Championship in 2005.

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Ian Holloway
Ian Holloway

He was promoted with QPR in 2004.

In February 2006, meanwhile, speculation was rife associating Holloway with Leicester’s vacant manager’s position.

Five months later, he headed to Plymouth Argyle, but left in November 2007 as chairman Milan Mandarić announced that Holloway was to become Leicester City’s new manager.

On his appointment, Holloway said: “It’s like being in Coronation Street all your life and then being asked to undertake a new role in King Lear.”

Following a difficult start to the season, which had already seen two managers (Martin Allen and Gary Megson) depart, the team was struggling in the Championship.

He became the first Leicester City manager to win his first game in over 50 years, beating Bristol City 2-0 at Ashton Gate.

Holloway signed the likes of Barry Hayles, Steve Howard, Gabi Bori, Zsolt Laczkó, Matt Oakley, Jamie Clapham, Lee Hendrie, Kelvin Etuhu, David Bell, Harry Worley and Ben Alnwick.

A Club record of 40 players made first team appearances that season.

Despite false dawns such as a Steve Howard hat-trick securing a 4-1 victory against West Bromwich Albion at The Hawthorns, Holloway won nine of his 31 league games in charge.

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Ian Holloway and Milan Mandarić
Ian Holloway and Milan Mandarić

Holloway was City's third manager of the 2007/08 season.

A home defeat against Sheffield Wednesday in the penultimate game, in front of a 31,892-strong crowd, and a 0-0 draw at Stoke City on the last day of the season, sealed Leicester's fate.

It was little consolation that the team was relegated with the second-best defensive record in the division (45) and with the highest number of points (53) for any club relegated to the third tier.

Later that month, Holloway parted company with Leicester City by mutual consent.

He took a year out of football, before returning to manage Blackpool and Crystal Palace, leading them both into the Premier League in 2010 and 2013 respectively.

Holloway went on to manage Millwall, before returning to QPR for the third time in November 2016. He left Loftus Road at the end of last season.

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