Millwall keep showing signs they can be Championship play-off challengers next season

BY ALEX GRACE

The last two performances have shown that Millwall do not need an awful lot to bridge the gap to the Championship top six next season.

The admirable defeat at Watford was backed up by a comprehensive 4-1 dismantling of Bristol City on Saturday afternoon. While their visitors did not really lay a finger on them, Gary Rowett would have been pleased with this showing. The Lions boss has spoken a lot about mentality in recent weeks since Millwall’s season was effectively ended by the 3-0 defeat to Swansea last month. His side have shown fight and drive in the last matches.

Tom Bradshaw has not exactly had it easy since he joined Millwall. Since his arrival from Barnsley in 2018, for what was at the time a club record fee, the striker has had a fair bit to contend with. Mainly, an cruciate knee injury suffered at Brentford in October of that year which kept him out for the remainder of that season. He made 45 appearances for the club last season, 28 of them starts and scored eight goals. Starts this season have not been as forthcoming for Bradshaw with the arrival of loanees Ken Zohore and Troy Parrott in the summer. But he has managed to net four goals in 10 starts this season, raising the question of whether he does yet still have a big role to play in Millwall’s future going forward.

Bradshaw’s record of four goals in 10 starts, compared to Jon Dadi Bodvarsson, one in 12, and Matt Smith, one in eight, shows that, if given the chance, he can find the net on a more regular basis than that of his striking competitors.

Tom Bradshaw scores for Millwall against Bristol City

It was a great day for Billy Mitchell, who registered his first goal for the club. The only thing that could have made it better for the 20-year-old would have been the presence of fans in the Cold Blow Lane End to celebrate alongside him.

Next season is one that everyone associated with Millwall can look to with great optimism. Danny McNamara and Billy Mitchell have both forced themselves into the first-team picture and both are looking like a couple of the first names on the teamsheet going into next season. A healthy competition at right wing-back between McNamara and Mahlon Romeo will be one to keep an eye on. McNamara could have opened his tally for the Lions in the first half, but his powerful effort was denied by Robins stopper Max O’Leary.

Bradshaw could have had a second goal but his header from McNamara’s cross was straight into the arms of O’Leary. Scott Malone scored Millwall’s second of the game and could have doubled his tally but his shot from another McNamara cross was met with too much elevation. Adding more goals to the side is a priority in this summer’s transfer window.

Loss in concentration has been a factor in a number of goals that Millwall have conceded of late and that struck again with Bristol City’s equaliser. George Evans, whose performances have dipped in recent weeks, once again stepped out allowing Tommy Conway to slip past Bart Bialkowksi, and tap into an empty net. Another mistake allowed Kasey Palmer to advance forward and find a cross for Conway but his end product let him down and Millwall off the hook.

Regardless of where they end up finishing in the Championship table next weekend, Millwall are certainly in a stronger position going into this summer in terms of knowing what and where they need to improve than they were last summer.

STAR MAN
Jed Wallace. Once again showed how important he is to Millwall, and display his class with the opening goal.

BEST MOMENT
Billy Mitchell scoring his first goal for Millwall and seeing how much it meant to him.

 


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