‘The pressure will increase’ – Zian Flemming under no illusions over significance of Huddersfield-Millwall clash

Zian Flemming is not hiding away from the fact that Millwall’s loss to Rotherham at the start of this week has ramped up the heat for tomorrow’s trip to Huddersfield.

The Lions created five big chances at New York Stadium and had 21 shots – posting an xG (expected goals) of 2.10 to their opponent’s 0.90 – but were defeated 2-1.

The reverse has piled more significance on to Millwall’s fixture against the Terriers, who are in the bottom three and four points behind their weekend opponents.

Lions’ top-scorer Flemming told the South London Press: “We could’ve been seven points clear of Huddersfield and now we’re only four clear.

“The mission and our task remains the same, because we still want and need to win that game.

“The pressure will increase towards Saturday because we lost and the gap is smaller than it should’ve been. It’s logical because there is a difference between a four-point gap and a seven-point gap.

“Because we play against Huddersfield it means they can get really close to us – we obviously don’t want that.

“We knew that Monday’s game was a massive opportunity to get ourselves into a really, really good position to finish it off, get ourselves safe. That only gave us more motivation, there wasn’t any complacency.

“If you played that game 10 times then we  would win it nine times out of 10. It’s not that we played brilliantly or outstanding, but we did sufficient and created enough chances for us to normally make it count and kill the game. That is something we lacked.

“Everyone was extremely motivated to get to 47 points and then you know, historically, that you only normally need one more win to get safe.

“It was a massive opportunity and we were eager to take it. We just failed, it is as simple as it is.”

Flemming had opportunities to add to his eight goals but Rotherham keeper Viktor Johansson was in defiant mood.

“Looking back at my chances, if I get the same ones again today or tomorrow then I think I would probably do the same,” said Flemming, who was the subject of multiple bids from Burnley last summer. “Their goalie was outstanding, not just from my attempts. He just stood in the way, frustratingly.”

Millwall also spurned a couple of clear opportunities in Friday’s 1-1 draw against West Brom before John Swift’s penalty cancelled out Duncan Watmore’s first-half opener. The Lions are 18th for big chances in the Championship – with 56 – and 19th for shots on target per match (3.6).

“In the last two games we have had chances where we could and should have killed the game,” said Flemming. “Chances get missed every day, every week and every game for every team. It’s not like if you create one chance then 100 per cent it’s going to go in, that’s why there are defenders and goalies getting paid as well.

“There have been loads of games as well where we’ve only had one chance or maybe half a chance and won 1-0 or 2-1.

“People tend to forget the games where we were really efficient – because we won – and you remember it when you get enough chances and you don’t win. That’s normal because everything comes down to results.

“I don’t know the attack stats but it wouldn’t surprise me if the amount of chances we have created against West Brom and Rotherham were more than we normally do.

“We know it only counts if you get them in the back of the net. It’s something we’re going to have to do for the remaining part of the season.

“Every team has those struggles and focus points because scoring a goal is maybe the hardest part of the game – their whole team is trying to stop you doing it.

“You can’t score 100 per cent of the time, even though we strive for it. We have to be ruthless and relentless but it isn’t going to happen every time. It is a good thing that we are creating. It gets worse when you don’t score and also don’t create any chances.”

Millwall are in control of their own destiny and not reliant on other results going in their favour.

“Speaking on behalf of myself and the team, we acknowledge the urgency – because there is an urgency to stay up,” said Flemming. “It is big and important. But we don’t need to make it bigger than it is – we have got it in our own hands.

“I’ve got 100 per cent confidence and no doubt that we will get enough points to stay up. We are good enough, in terms of quality, to work our arses off and get those points.”

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.