Former Fulham defender gives verdict on playing as home player at Millwall’s Den

Millwall defender Joe Bryan has given his take on his early experience of being a home player at The Den.

The former Fulham full-back signed for the Lions in July after being released by the Premier League club.

Bryan, 30, scored Millwall’s equaliser in their 2-2 draw with Hull City in their most recent Championship match before the international break.

Asked what he has made of playing at The Den this season, the ex-Bristol City man told the South London Press: “It’s been interesting. The fans are very passionate, in their way, and ,rightly so, a few times they have been pretty upset.

“I’ve never been a player who, and this needs to be taken in the right way, whether the fans are cheering, jeering or you’re the best thing since sliced bread or the worst player in the world. I’m there to play football and I’ll try to play my game – whether the fans are cheering or booing. I’ll still play the same way, it doesn’t affect me.

“The second half against Hull when we really went at them and tweaked a few things on the pitch to be able to get after them, you could see how helpful the fans can be and a driving force for the team.

“Hopefully we can continue that high intensity game and they, in their way, can continue their support because it was really helpful.

Millwall are 15th heading into Saturday’s match at Preston North End.

And Bryan, who has twice won promotion out of the league with Fulham, reckons the division has become more demanding since the last time he competed in it.

He said: “Even coming up against Plymouth the other day, the standard of teams coming up from League One is very, very high. You’ve got the teams coming down from the Premier League which are incredibly well-stacked with talent and quality this season. I do think the speed and just general intensity of the league has gone up.

“You very rarely come up against a very bad team in the Championship any more, whereas five or six years ago there were a few of them.

“It’s great for English football and it’s great for people watching the league because the better quality players we have the more interest there is going to be in it.

“We’ve been slightly disappointed with the manner of some of our performances, especially at home, that’s the main takeaway from it. Potentially having a big group of newer players it has taken time for us to gel but we’re in a very, very good place to kick on and go forward now.

“The Championship is always one of those leagues that it doesn’t really look like anything until November or December time. You don’t really have a clue who is where and what is what. As long as you are picking up points and gelling then you are in a really good place after the international break, this one and the November one, that’s when the real stuff starts and you understand what the league table is going to be like.”

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