Millwall skipper Steve Morison won’t play blame game – and talks about playing through a hamstring niggle

BY RICHARD CAWLEY
richard.cawley@slp.co.uk

Steve Morison is not about to start apportioning blame for Millwall’s struggles this season.

The Lions are in the Championship bottom three going into tomorrow’s match at Stoke City.

Millwall are seven points behind the 26 they had banked at this juncture of the last campaign. They have scored an extra four goals (28) but also conceded more – 38 compared to 22.

“We’re making too many errors as a team and conceding too many first goals,” said Lions captain Morison. “We’ve scored quite a few but could still be more clinical at the moment as a team – we need to score more because we are letting too many in.

“We try and do everything as a team because that’s how we have got the best out of ourselves. We don’t dig out individuals. If someone makes a mistake you try and get your mate out of it.

“Coops [Jake Cooper] has scored more goals than all of our forwards, except for Gregs [Lee Gregory]. He is helping us out at our end, so maybe we need to help them out a little bit more at their end.

“We’re in the bottom three – the table doesn’t lie. We’re not doing as well as we could be and should be doing. I don’t really know, it’s a difficult one – we’ve not been outplayed by anyone. Sheffield United were the best team who have come to our place and we were right in it until the end.

“We’ve not had any 3-0 or 4-0 scores against us. Everything has been tight and close. We’ve been unfortunate at times – we haven’t kept the back door shut.

“I said before the start of this season that this was going to be a tough one, that people didn’t need to get complacent and think we just needed to turn up and do what we did last year.

“You can see in all the games that teams are showing us respect for what we do.

“Teams who have decided to come and not change – Derby for example – have come unstuck.

“The ones who have been most successful have come to stop us. We haven’t dealt with that as well this season as players. Yeah, we keep trying it [going direct] and knocking on the door and eventually we get that bit of quality. In a lot of second halves of games we have been very good. It was the same at Preston on Saturday.

“Teams aren’t going to allow me and Tom [Elliott] to have free headers from goal-kicks. They are putting someone in front and behind to make it difficult for us.”

Millwall’s aerial strength has been their best form of attack in recent seasons.

It has led to claims that opponents know exactly what to expect.

Morison said: “We know the strengths and weaknesses of all our opponents. The gaffer works extremely hard on that to make sure we are clued up on how to exploit them.

“It is difficult to rip up the rulebook because then you have a transitional period where you don’t get results because things are new.

“We’re not robots. You can’t flick a switch and say ‘play total football’. It doesn’t work like that. You have to work on that in training every day – like we work now on what we do. We need to knuckle down on a few things and we’ll start picking up results, we’re close.”

Morison has played despite a hamstring niggle – only missing the 1-1 draw with Bolton at the end of November.

“I could have been available but it was a risk we decided not to take,” he said. “It ended up working well because T [Elliott] went down injured after half an hour and I’d have been on very early having done absolutely zero for five or six days.

“People on the outside don’t have a clue in terms of what we put our bodies through. We do play with knocks and niggles.  I’m better at it than anyone else here. I’ll sacrifice something in my game to make sure I can do something else.”


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