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View From The Town End: Defensively Strong Millwall In Hunt For Playoffs

We got the inside track on Millwall, who are looking for another win in their playoff push.

Millwall v Stoke City - Sky Bet Championship - The Den Photo by Rhianna Chadwick/PA Images via Getty Images

It feels like a long time since the reverse fixture for this match. Back in late August, a first away win of the season (1-0 thanks to Naby Sarr’s header) put the Royals top of the table. Since then we’ve eventually dropped to 15th.

Millwall on the other hand are still very much in the hunt for a playoff spot. Having typically been in the bottom half of the table in the opening months of the campaign, they’ve been no lower than eighth since the New Year. To find out more about them, we spoke to Lucas Ball - you can find him on Twitter @LucasBall2211.

How would you sum up the season so far?

Very good - our best chance at making the top six in recent years and we’ve largely taken advantage of that. We’ve added more goals and have moved away from the defensive errors that were costing us earlier in the season. It’s now about getting players back from injury and illness so we have the depth and options to rotate in the final stretch.

How have Millwall looked on the road this season?

At the start of this season it wasn’t great, but since picking up that first win we’ve looked a lot better and had a lot more belief in our ability to defend our box again. We’re picking up goals by different methods and have maintained that set-piece threat with the likes of Jake Cooper and Charlie Cresswell.

What are the main strengths and weaknesses of this Millwall side?

Defensively we’re still very good - we have immense set-piece threat and in Tom Bradshaw and Zian Flemming, two of the top scorers in the division currently. We still lack a little pure pace in attack for my liking and sometimes struggle to create from open play but that has also improved this year.

How do you see the rest of the season playing out for you?

Hopefully we can still be in the hunt after 40 games and then see what happens. In theory we have one of the easier run-ins, but sometimes that works against us - we often up our game against the top sides. The fans have got behind the team in numbers of late and long may that continue.

How will the game go on Saturday and what will the score be?

I think we’ll keep a clean sheet, it’ll then just be about if we get a goal one way or another. We have a good set-up away from home and will have the threat of Flemming, player of the month Bradshaw and from set pieces. I think we’ll manage to do that and perhaps add a second with Reading chasing the game late on. I’ll go 2-0 Millwall and back us to boost our playoff hopes and bounce back from last week’s disappointment.