BY RICHARD CAWLEY
Tom Elliott insisted he felt no relief at ending his wait for a league goal at The Den.
The Millwall striker slammed home the winner against Aston Villa on Saturday.
It was the big centre-forward’s first goal on home turf in the Championship since August 15 2017 – a 4-3 reverse to Ipswich Town.
Elliott’s last time on the scoresheet in the league had been in the 2-0 victory at Bolton on April 10.
The striker has netted eight times in 41 appearances – 18 of those starts.
Asked if it was a release to get one at The Den, he replied: “Not really. I scored in the [EFL] Cup [against Fulham]. My goal ratio for Millwall is not too bad as a striker for starting. I’m just happy I can help the team. I love scoring goals.”
Elliott started for the second game in succession alongside Lee Gregory, who led the line superbly.
“Greggers is always a seven out of 10 as a minimum,” said Elliott. “He was excellent and my man of the match, as a striker I am biased.
“But Greggers works so hard. He’s a small striker but he plays like a big man at times.
“We showed our quality as a team. We’ve got so much quality in our team and sometimes that gets forgotten about. Everyone’s buzzing to be going into the international break with three points.
“The boys have needed that since the start of the season. We’ve been winning games and not been able to see it out.
“The boys knew it was an important game going into the international break and we needed to get three points. We knew we had to dig in, be ruthless and see out the game. The changing room has been great all season. We have always stuck together and that shows on the pitch. The belief is going to get bigger.”
Elliott has struggled to be a regular starter in the Championship for Millwall since signing after they won promotion from League One.
His last back-to-back appearances for the Lions before the outings against Forest and Villa came in November 2017.
“I’ve been patient waiting for my chance,” he said. “Going from Wednesday [at Forest] to today was better for me because I could learn from my mistakes, get a bit more of a rhythm and I got the goal.
“It has helped me get match fitness and understanding in the team. Coming off the bench it is sometimes 100mph, but when you start it is a bit different. It’s a lot better starting two games in a row, you feel a bit more part of the team. It’s hard to explain, but it is different coming off the bench.”
Please support your local paper by making a donation
Please make cheques payable to “MSI Media Limited” and send by post to South London Press, Unit 112, 160 Bromley Road, Catford, London SE6 2NZ
Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has encouraged everyone in the country who can afford to do so to buy a newspaper, and told the Downing Street press briefing recently: “A free country needs a free press, and the newspapers of our country are under significant financial pressure”.
So if you have enjoyed reading this story, and if you can afford to do so, we would be so grateful if you can buy our newspaper or make a donation, which will allow us to continue to bring stories like this one to you both in print and online.