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View From The Town End: Millwall

So the Lions from the New Den visit the more tranquill surroundings of the Madejski Stadium. The last time this fixture was played, a certain Mathieu Manset scored his final home goals for the club, how time flies. Ahead of Saturday's game we spoke to Millwall fan Mark Dillon.

Justin Setterfield

How would you sum up Millwall's season so far?

Frustrating.

The summer had been the most successful we'd been in the transfer market I'd seen us for years, however the enthusiasm built up around that was quickly gone after we gave Yeovil half of their points total to date with a 1-0 home defeat on the opening day of the season.

Poor performances continued for the next fews games, including a home defeat against Huddersfield, and a 5-1 hammering by Derby seemed to be the point Lomas was done.

As per usual in this division we promptly beat top of the league at the time Blackpool 3-1 in a scoreline which flattered Blackpool, went and put in an excellent performance at Charlton to win 1-0, and then beat Leeds with another good performance leaving us all believing we had turned the corner.

That was until we conceded 9 goals in a week, including losing 5-2 away at Bournemouth after being 2-0 up inside 8 minutes.

A good point at home to QPR last Saturday leaves us lower midtable and frankly confused as to if we're relegation fodder, or playoff contenders in disguise, when the reality is we should be a solid mid table side.

Steve Lomas took the job in the summer after many years under Kenny Jackett, what have been your early impressions of the former Northern Ireland international?

Unfortunately for Lomas it's not the 'former Northern Ireland international' tag that matters, it's the 'former West Ham captain' tag.

The appointment was a bizzare one; we were given talk of an experienced Championship manager, apparently refused to interview Marcus Babbel after he refused to cut a holiday short to come to London, were linked with the usual candidates, then ended up with Lomas whose only managerial experience in England is with St Neots Town of Southern League fame.

Given that, he was always going to need to hit the ground running to win the crowd over, which he did with the transfer dealings in the summer and saying the right things leading up to the season.

7 league games later we had no wins and people were calling for his head.

Tactically he seems to be 'lacking' shall we say, but in the transfer market he's been incredibly shrewd, building a squad that should be doing better than it is.

Hopefully he'll keep us far enough away from the bottom 3 so he can be given a season to build the side he's clearly looking to create.

One man that's also left the New Den is former Reading winger James Henry, what were your impressions of him over the years?

Typical frustrating winger.

When he wants to be he's one of the best players in the Championship, the problem is he wants to be less and less recently.

Lomas seems to prefer 4-3-3 as opposed to out and out wingers, so combined with Henry being out of contract in the summer, his apparent attitude and the change in tactics it was no surprise to see him go.

Any fond memories of Millwall v Reading?

Has to be the 4-3 game the year we won the league. A Neil Harris hat-trick, some Ricky Newman comedy, and nearly a usual Millwall collapse from 4-0 up to hanging on for dear life.

Any less than fond ones?

I remember getting smashed 5-0 at your place the year we went down from the Championship and you won the league, but then you smashed everyone that year and we were terrible!

Who should Reading be wary of on Saturday?

Depends which Millwall side turns up really. If the recent away performances continue then not really. If we play as we did agianst QPR then probably Scott McDonald, incredibly intelligent striker and an excellent finisher.

The star in recent games has been Scott Malone at left back though, so hopefully he'll continue that good form.

Anyone Millwall fans are particularly wary of?

Yeah, Danny Shittu! But in a Reading shirt Le Fondre is always going to be a threat, especially against a 'less mobile' centre half pairing,


Score prediction?

Would be delighted to snatch a point, can't see it though. 2-0 Reading to continue our away day woes.