BY ALEX GRACE
Millwall eased to a 3-0 win over Ipswich in their final pre-season game before they kick off their campaign away to QPR next Saturday. Here are four things we learned from the game ahead of next weekend’s big kick off.
FORMATION IS SET
It is safe to say that Gary Rowett knows the direction in which he wants to go with Millwall this season. As was the case last season, being defensively solid and hard to beat is the first aim. The Lions had a strong defence last term but struggled with a regular third centre-back to partner both Shaun Hutchinson and Jake Cooper. Daniel Ballard, impressive at Gillingham on Tuesday once again started and looked assured alongside the experienced duo of Hutchinson and Cooper. The partnership of these three could be crucial to Millwall’s success this season.
LINK UP PLAY BETWEEN MCNAMARA AND WALLACE IS ENCOURAGING
The link-up play between Jed Wallace and Mahlon Romeo was always very impressive and key to Millwall’s attacking threat. But worryingly for him, a Wallace-McNamara partnership is looking just as much of a threat. That is music to the ears of both Millwall fans and Gary Rowett.
AFOBE OFF THE MARK AT THE BEST TIME
Benik Afobe getting off the mark is crucial for the Lions. They have lacked a regular goalscorer and at times last season were simply crying out for someone who could put the ball in the net. In Afobe they have someone who is proven at this level but has struggled for form at Stoke. If he is given the service and uses the intelligence that he showed against the Tractor Boys then he will certainly find the net on a regular basis for the Lions this season.
THE STARTING ELEVEN COULD BE THE ONE THAT FACES QPR NEXT WEEKEND
This was the perfect way to prepare for a season opener. It was as comfortable a pre-season game as you will get. Millwall were rarely troubled by their hosts – a side that are backed to be one of the big hitters in League One this season. Millwall have found it hard to hammer home their advantage in recent seasons when they are on top. They did that here, which will certainly be a breath of fresh air for the fans to see. A shortage of goals has been the problem in recent seasons but if they get the likes of Afobe in the positions he did today, then he will score goals and Millwall will be a force to be reckoned with.
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