Steve Morison: Millwall job will attract interesting applicants – the club’s challenge has changed in recent years

Steve Morison reckons that Millwall’s managerial vacancy will have attracted a quality field of applicants.

The Lions have started the process to replace Gary Rowett and the interview process is set to run into next week with the successful candidate needing to pass more than one stage of the process.

Millwall chairman James Berylson, pictured above, will be involved in the latter stages.

He flew in from the USA with his mother Amy, the pair watched Tuesday’s 2-1 defeat to Blackburn from the Den directors’ box, but their trip was planned before Rowett’s departure was mutually agreed.

Morison, whose goal took the Lions into the Championship in 2017, reckons the former Stoke, Derby and Birmingham boss has helped consolidate the club in England’s second tier.

“I’m sure that peoples’ phones went off the hook as soon as the news was announced,” Morison told the South London Press. “It’s an appealing job and different to what people would’ve looked at four or five years ago.

“There’s loads of managers out there looking for jobs and I’m sure they will be working their way through different options. I bet there are some interesting ones that crop up along the way.”

Steve Morison
Picture: PA

Millwall have not reached the play-offs at their currrent level since 2002.

But Morison, now managing Isthmian League Premier Division table-toppers Hornchurch, said: “Luton have done it. There is always that one team that does it at some point – and it will be Millwall’s turn. It was nearly their turn last season. They keep banging on the door.

“When I came back as a player the club was bouncing between League One and the Championship – so the challenge to make that last step to the play-offs is much better than the challenge we had previously, which was getting out of League One and saying: ‘Let’s stay in the Champ’.

“Now it is ‘can we keep closing that gap to the play-offs?’ Under Gary and John Berylson’s leadership – Steve Kavanagh and the board – that is where it is.

“The training ground is a bit better than it was when I was there. They are improving bits year and year, a lot of stuff that fans don’t see – they only see the players turn up on a Saturday or Tuesday night.

“The club is moving forward, you can see that in all aspects. I’m sure that James and Steve will get this appointment right.”

Former Millwall defender Kevin Muscat, in charge of Japanese side Yokahama F. Marinos, has been linked.

Asked if it would help for a new boss to have a past connection with the Lions, Morison said: “I don’t think it has to be the manager but, within the structure of the set-up, it doesn’t do any harm.

Kevin Muscat, Millwall

“That understanding and being on the same page as those people who are watching – the fans – goes a long way.

“We had it with players. How many have we seen come, can’t deal with it, leave and do well at other places? There are others who come and they thrive off of it. Whatever anyone says, and people try and mask over it, it is a unique place. It’s an amazing place to play your football.

“There are things you have to deal with and there are things that come with the territory. If you don’t know about it, or there is no-one there to guide you or make you understand it, then I don’t see why it would be any different to what happens with a player. I know a lot of the players have been there a long time, so I suppose there are those messages that are stressed from within anyway.

“There is that connection with Kevin Muscat. He was in for the Rangers job – he was in and around that conversation.

“I bet there are some amazing names out there and ones people wouldn’t expect. It will be interesting to watch.”

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