Fan's Roar: Feelgood factor-returns for Millwall

By Rob Virtue on August 13, 2014 6:21 AM |



by Ian Toal

What a way to open our league campaign. Entertaining our old rivals Leeds United on the first day of the season was always going to be an enticing match.

With Holloway orchestrating our own great escape last season and making a few useful looking signings in the summer, there has been a feel-good atmosphere around our club and Millwall supporters responded by making the match a sell-out, a good 30 minutes before kick-off.

For the first time in quite a while of facing Leeds United we seemed to be clear favourites in our eyes. They are a club in disarray at the moment. A new owner who some believe dictates to an unknown manager what players the club signs compared with a club like ours that has the manager at the forefront of building the future of the club.

It's been a long while since there was such a buzz surrounding our club. Well maybe there was a bit of a buzz this time a year ago when we entertained Yeovil on the opening day of the season following a summer of several relatively big name signings.

Unfortunately we fell flat on our faces that day and then had a disastrous season so that optimism at the start of the season was quickly forgotten.

Things were so different this Saturday. We hassled Leeds from the off, scored early through Mark Beevers from a corner and the crowd played their full part in making it a tough afternoon for the Leeds team demonstrated ably by the Leeds goalkeeper Silvestri who kicked the ball out more often than he kept it on the pitch.

We didn't confirm the victory until the 88th minute though when Shaun Williams dispatched a great penalty after new signing Lee Gregory won the spot-kick on his debut.

Although the new signings have lifted the club, a couple of previously forgotten men more than played their part in the victory over Leeds.

With previous skipper Paul Robinson leaving to join Portsmouth on a month's loan last week, Alan Dunne was made captain and responded with another good performance at centre-half - a position he only took up towards the end of last season.

Jimmy Abdou like Dunney has been dropped more times than you care to count but with Nicky Bailey's injury he was back in the side and put in another energetic display.

The whole team played well though and look to take that performance forward on Saturday when we make the short trip across London to Fulham where we should be backed by something like 6000 supporters both in the official away end and the "neutral end" which seems to be more Millwall than anything else!

The Thames will be full of Millwall supporters travelling to the match by boats.

Before that we continued our winning start with a 1-0 League Cup win against Wycombe Wanderers at The Den on Tuesday night.

Holloway made a lot of changes to rest players given the heavy fixture schedule we have at the moment and filled the bench with youngsters.

We rode our luck a bit but a goal from left-back Matthew Briggs on debut was enough to see us progress.

Although he managed to get himself banned from the match against his former club Fulham, by getting a second yellow card.

That really stemmed from a stupid booking for taking off his shirt when celebrating his goal.

Hopefully he will quickly learn from this mistake.

Ian Toal is on the board of Millwall Supporters' Club