The Lions embark on their season back in League One for the first time in five years on Saturday, August 8, when they travel to Shrewsbury.

The bookmakers installed us as third favourites for the title, which is rather too short odds in my view.

Although we have one of the biggest budgets in the division there are too many uncertainties. We have a new permanent management team who are inexperienced; we have a lack of firepower up front; we haven’t signed a new striker this summer and a question mark hangs over our defence.

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Our pre-season results have been unspectacular. A few draws, a victory against Stevenage and a 3-2 home defeat last Saturday against CD Tondela from the Portuguese top division.

The average age of the squad has dropped as manager Neil Harris released players and stated that the youngsters will get their chances this season.

This is another reason why the odds offered by the bookmakers are too short. How these players adapt to the rough and tumble of first team football will go a long way to dictate how we will do this season.

Millwall captain Tony Craig

Our supporters will have to have patience.

Just because Millwall legend Harris has stated he wants to return the Millwall team to playing passionate, high-tempo football that defends from the front, gets plenty of crosses and balls into the box, that does not guarantee success.

But if we fall short it should not be for a lack of effort. The signing of Tony Craig from Brentford who returns for his third spell at the club is an important part of returning the passion to the Millwall team and has duly been made skipper.

This Saturday we will have to do without key players Jimmy Abdou, Aiden O’Brien and new left–back Joe Martin.

After Saturday we entertain Barnet at The Den in the League Cup first Round on Tuesday night when you normally see a few changes from the team that play the first league match.