Squad unity a priority for Millwall boss as they try to emerge from ‘difficult situation’

Joe Edwards has talked about the importance of maintaining squad unity after Millwall’s 4-0 home loss to Ipswich in midweek heightened relegation fears.

The heavy reverse to the Tractor Boys leaves the South Londoners just above the Championsip bottom three with Sheffield Wednesday next up at The Den tomorrow.

The pressure is building on Edwards and his players after a six-game winless spell which has seen them collect one point from a possible 18.

But the former Chelsea and Everton coach, appointed as Gary Rowett’s successor on November 6, is not pressing the panic button.

Edwards told the South London Press: “Reflection is always a big part of what we do, but in this instance we came in on
Thursday morning all feeling very disappointed – which can create a kind of flat feeling and flat energy.

“But the reality is that in a couple of days we have got the chance to go again against a team that will look very different than Ipswich did – they are a different proposition.

“There will be no analysis of the Ipswich game, we have to move very quickly on to the Sheffield Wednesday game. That doesn’t mean pretending it never happened. We need to keep talking and addressing the fact we’ve got a clear problem, at the moment, where we do a lot of things right – we start games well and look like we’re on the right track – and then we’re making too many mistakes which are getting punished heavily.

“The follow on from that has then not been good enough.

“We need to turn up with a strong mentality. That is the demands of this league. After such a heavy defeat where you either want to have it out or have a day to feel sorry for yourself – you don’t get that. It is straight back to focusing on Saturday.

“We’ve got a good spirit and a strong environment everyone is together. I know that doesn’t count for everything – that football results determine everything – but it does still count for a lot.

“It is certainly still a team that is in a strong place, in terms of our togetherness and our spirit.

“My personal job is to preserve that because we are a team that is in a really difficult situation now.

“I’ve been around a lot of teams in difficult situations and I’ve never seen a team sulk their way out of trouble or by moaning and turning on each other.

“Wednesday’s game was the worst it has been since I’ve been here. We need to make sure that the response is to get back to our work and ready to go into the next one – because that next match is almost the best way of clearing it out of your system.”

Wednesday’s reverse was Millwall’s heaviest at home since Coventry City won by the same scoreline in a League One match in August 2015.

Asked how significant tomorrow’s encounter felt with both clubs fighting to stay up, Edwards said: “It is a big game but there is still a fair amount of the season to go, we’re not talking about a four or five-game run-in here. There is almost a third of the season to go.

“I know, if we don’t win, what the table could look like on Saturday night and it isn’t pleasing for anyone – I totally get that.

“But, at the same time, we can’t put too much on it as if it is a definitive game whereby if we don’t win it the season is over – it’s not.

“If anything it is just a big game for us because of how long it has been since we have won a game. It has been much longer than we’d have liked and also now we feel like we need a result to break this rut that we’re in.

“I’m not condemning us to an official relegation battle, as such yet, because there are too many matches left to be using that kind of terminology.

“It’s been a tough period for me but the only way through it it through it. It’s not easy and I don’t enjoy it – but that is football and sport in general.

“You have to keep a real clarity and simplicity in what you do because the minute you start getting dragged too much into the tactical side of the game and potentially overcomplicating things, that is not what players need when they are low on confidence.

“I’m clear in my head on what you need to stay on top of.”


Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Everyone at the South London Press thanks you for your continued support.

Former 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:


If you can afford to do so, we would be so grateful if you can make a donation which will allow us to continue to bring stories to you, both in print and online. Or 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

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.