Our match to Burton was called off due to international call-ups providing some breathing space to take stock of where Millwall are and our progression this season.
We started the season slowly and manager Neil Harris received flak off some supporters for some of his player choices and our form at that time was frankly terrible, losing our first four home matches.
But since those dark moments we are completely transformed. The first win at home against Peterborough in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy back on September 1 was the turning point and we are now a much more confident team, especially at home. We are much more dangerous going forward too and now have three forwards all scoring goals.
We are still far from the finished article. Our defence is worrying – although we are scoring goals for fun, we are conceding too many. The 5-3 win at Plymouth last Tuesday is a prime example. We’ve not been helped by injuries to skipper Tony Craig and now to Carlos Edwards, and the understudies need to step up.
A lot of the credit for our turnaround has to go to boss Neil Harris and the coaching staff. It’s not easy to turn a losing club around. Harris knows the club inside out from his time at the club as a player and youth coach.
He has a receptive audience in the young squad who are eager to learn from him. In some ways the club needed to take a step backwards before moving forward. This young squad would most likely be struggling in the Championship but they can learn the game and get into winning habits in League One. They have proved lately they are good enough for this level.
Millwall’s success has often been built on a lot of our home grown players coming through and cast-offs from other clubs. The older overpaid loan signings from the last few years are a distant memory and we are right to re-build with our own players.
The Johnstone’s Paint Trophy area semi-final draw saw us bring paired with Harris’ old club Southend United. I remember us losing at a Barry Fry and Stan Colleymore inspired Roots Hall back in the 1990s in an FA Cup tie so I hope we can erase that memory.
But for now we are back to the importance of league points and entertain Colchester United at The Den this Saturday (November 21).
Ian Toal is a committee member at Millwall Supporters Club