Millwall striker determined to show he can be regular starting option for Gary Rowett


Tom Bradshaw is determined to finish this season in style and prove he can be a main man for Millwall next season.

The 28-year-old striker ended a 17-game barren scoring spell when he netted the final goal in Saturday’s

4-1 thumping of Bristol City at The Den.

Lions manager Gary Rowett has already made it clear that boosting the club’s firepower is a key priority in the summer transfer window after the loan signings of Kenneth Zohore and Troy Parrott failed to fully pay off.

But Bradshaw is keen to show that the answer can also come from within the existing squad.

He reached double figures last season – all of his goals coming by the start of January 2020 – but last weekend was only his 11th start of the current campaign, 18 fewer than he clocked up last time around.

“If you look back on the season we’ve had spells where we haven’t had the results we wanted,” said Bradshaw, who has netted 15 times in 90 appearances for Millwall. “We had a run where we didn’t win in 10 matches.

“It was tough for the gaffer to nail down a consistent team because we just couldn’t pick up wins. When we did start picking up wins it turned out I wasn’t in the team – you’re always facing an uphill battle when the gaffer finds a team where he is getting results, after going a while without them. Then you’re on the outside looking in.

“It happens in football and to every player, where they have a longer spell on the sidelines than they would like.

“This season has been quite tough personally, in terms of not getting as many minutes as I would’ve liked.”

Luton are the only team in the top half to have scored fewer goals (40) than Millwall (46).

The Lions had only totalled four in their six matches before putting City to the sword in SE16.

Bradshaw and Jon Dadi Bodvarsson are the only contracted forwards for the 2021-22 season.

Millwall activated a clause in January that extended Bradshaw’s deal until June of next year.

The former Barnsley and Walsall man admits that the striking spots are up for grabs. He added: “We haven’t conceded that many, which is good again, but we’ve scored less this year than we did last year.

“And we’ve had one too many weeks where we’ve not been able to bang the door down in the final third. No-one has really cemented their place there and scored 15 to 20 goals, so it has been rotated around everybody.

“The opportunity is there and you’ve just got to try and take it when you get the chance. I’d like to think that is what I’ve done the last two games. I’ve got to keep churning out good performances.

“Any professional footballer wants to be on the pitch every single week and playing 90 minutes. This season it just hasn’t really been possible – whether it was dips in form and also the fact we’ve had quite a few attacking players to choose from with the different formations we play in.”

Millwall can still finish as high as ninth if they win at Coventry on Saturday afternoon.

“It speaks volumes that we’ve been viewed as having a mediocre season and we’re still in with a good chance of the top 10,” said Bradshaw. “There are a lot of big clubs in this league, so for Millwall to consistently finish in the top 10 is a real big positive, especially when we went 15 games – a third of the season – without a win. But we want to strive for better. Hopefully the fans being back will make a difference next season.”

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