‘The top teams proactively dominate the game’ – Millwall head coach Edwards on key traits he wants from his team

Millwall head coach Joe Edwards has set the aim of seeing his team improve with the ball and make better use of their possession.
It would be a major shift from what the Lions have been used to under their previous two managers in Neil Harris and Gary Rowett, who were both comfortable with the opposition having more of the ball.
During Saturday’s 4-0 win at Hillsborough centre-backs Jake Cooper and Wes Harding carried the ball into midfield.
“We want to be better with the ball,” said Edwards. “If you look at all the top teams around the game, the top teams proactively dominate the game by trying to have the ball and trying to attack on their opponent. That’s a key trait nowadays.
“If you want to be a defender, the absolute basics is defending your box and protecting your goal but when we’re playing well and progressing up the pitch, you can’t stand back there and wait for your next time to defend and be a spectator.
“People would have seen players like Coops and Wes and asked that question – whether they’re capable of it – but it’s about being a collective. It’s about, as a team, if we can stay closely connected so that [for example] if one person jumps into the press and gets beaten, then the next man is in close support.
“If you look at Sav’s goal or Brooke’s goal, at times like that when players find the back of the net, great. But at other times, when the opposition try to clear it or break on you and you want to counter that, the higher up the pitch you can do it, the more you can sustain your attacks and get your attacking players in the game.”

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