Two consecutive home defeats have clearly exposed Millwall’s defensive deficiencies. The results also showed some of our more optimistic supporters we have lots of work to do before we can compete at this level.
This looks to be a season during which Neil Harris has to find the right blend of youngsters and experienced players to first get stability, get the players to gel and then look to improve and progress.
This isn’t going to be a quick solution and as supporters are going to have to show patience.
That said, there are certain standards that are unacceptable and Saturday’s 4-0 thrashing at the hands of Coventry City was one of those. Too many of the players slipped below the expected levels. For that some paid the price by losing their place in the starting line-up while others could be running out of chances.
Neil Harris showed faith in the team that won at Shrewsbury by retaining the starting XI. Centre-back Mark Beevers was playing out of position at left-back despite a left-back in Shane Ferguson being available on the bench. This proved to be a mistake.
He wasn’t the only player to have difficulties. Centre-back Ben Webster fails to inspire confidence. He struggles against pacy and skilful strikers and offers a couple of chances per match to the opposition. Both were dropped for the 3-2 home defeat to Barnsley on Tuesday, August 18.
Goalkeeper David Forde was at fault for the first two goals against Coventry but just about managed to hold onto his place. With Forde’s poor form last season supporters are calling for young Jordan Archer to be given a chance.
The midfield are failing to protect the back four sufficiently. Ed Upson and Shaun Williams in centre midfield for the Coventry match had no control and 19-year-old Ben Thompson, a second half substitute league debutant, showed them up.
Jimmy Abdou returned from injury against Barnsley and consequently the team had a more solid look although we still lost thanks to a late goal from a free-kick that we failed to defend.
Apart from Thompson’s efforts, the only shining light was a brace from 18-year-old Fred Onyedinma against Barnsley. Onyedinma has got bundles of skill and pace and maybe should be given a run up front alongside Steve Morison as he can do more damage there to the opposition than he can on the wing.
Scunthorpe v Millwall, Saturday, 3pm