Millwall midfielder on his contract situation – and sound advice he got early in his career over earning deals

George Honeyman will be heading into the final year of his Millwall contract in the summer but has never forgotten sound advice he got earlier in his career about achieving longevity at a club.

The 29-year-old midfielder has made 183 Championship appearances and featured 67 times for the Lions since signing from Hull City before the start of the 2022-23 season.

Honeyman has started the last 10 league matches for the Lions and played the full 90 minutes in Neil Harris’ first four fixtures after returning as head coach.

The former Sunderland captain told the South London Press: “I’ve got one more year left on my contract – which is motivation in itself – but I had a goalkeeping coach at Sunderland, Mark Prudhoe, who always used to tell me: ‘Whenever you sign a contract, the next day you have to go out and earn your next one’. I kind of live by that motto.

“I’m not one of those that down tools for two years and then go ‘alright, I’ve got one year on my contract – I’ll tie my boots up!’

“Contracts look after themselves with good performances and good team results. That is all everyone wants.”

Honeyman missed the first two months of this season with a thigh injury suffered in a friendly at Gillingham in July.

He also sat out the final five games last season after sustaining a hamstring injury at Hull, undergoing surgery on a shoulder issue he had been playing on with.

“Whichever manager I’ve had in my career I have always ended up playing for them because they end up liking what they see or feel they can trust me,” said Honeyman.

“If you feel you have got the backing of the manager it gives you a platform to go out and produce your best stuff. You want to repay it.

“Neil has been fantastic for me since he has come in. We’re only at the very start of this journey.

“I just want to smash it for everyone at the club.

“I underestimated the move last season and the change of scenery – it maybe took me a little while to get going in a Millwall shirt and then the back five months I played virtually every game under Gary Rowett until I got injured.

“Because of the two injuries I had back to back – pulling my thigh and knowing I wasn’t going to be back until the start of October – it was really hard for me, but I kind of lowered my goals for the season.

“I felt I put a lot of pressure on myself over the summer to come back and smash it – pick up where I’d left off prior to my injury – because I felt I was really beginning to hit my straps when I got injured last season.

“So when I got injured the second time I thought ‘look, if I can get fit by Christmas and be involved in as many squads as possible then that will be a bonus for me – let’s sort of reset’.

“I’ve played 27 games now and that’s way more than I expected when I was trudging off against Gillingham, knowing what I’d done in pre-season.

“It’s disappointing as a professional to have so much turnover of managers. I had it at the start of my career and you do feel responsibility for that. I’ve enjoyed every manager I work under – so to see any go is tough.

“It’s hard not to look at yourself and think ‘if I could only have done this or that better then it could have helped save that person’s job’.

“With Neil coming in now, whether I play all the games and score 20 goals or play no games, it’s just to stay up for the club. It’s chalk and cheese from last year.”


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