Millwall striker Lee Gregory has had a rollercoaster week with the birth of his first baby and a goal on the opening day of the season.
And he was just as flabbergasted by the last few days as Lions fans, as Neil Harris were robbed of a significant opening-day victory against fancied Middlesbrough at The Den.
Gregory scored in the 37th minute of the game against Tony Pulis’ side to put the hosts 2-0 up and that’s the way it stayed until the 88th minute when Martin Braithwaite stabbed in from close range; then ex-Millwall loanee George Friend levelled with virtually the last kick of the game.
And Gregory tweeted yesterday: “What a week for me. Gutted about the result but we go again next week.”
He said after the game: “We’re absolutely gutted, it goes without saying. But once it settles in, in a couple of days, we will realise we competed with a side that’s going to be top six, minimum. We held our own for 87 minutes, we looked good, we looked strong.
“It’s just minor little mistakes that cost us and I’m sure the staff will be looking at that again in the next few days and assess it. We’ve got to take the positives. If you start looking at the negatives it can affect us.
“The thing is everyone puts us down and it works in our favour, it takes the pressure off us. On paper we should not be drawing with Middlesbrough. Everyone knocks us down and it’s good to prove each time that we should be up here.
“I was speaking to a couple of their defenders and they were saying, ‘you do it so well, we can’t defend it’. When it clicks it works and hopefully it keeps working.
“He came and then he stumbled a little bit. Because the pitch is dry he stopped and it worked in my favour.”
Gregory is now looking forward to Saturday’s trip to Blackburn for the Lions’ first away fixture of the campaign. Harris will be looking to improve on last season’s away start when they failed to record a victory on their travels until January.
“We struggled with it last year but once we got our away win we were flying,” he said. “It is very important for us because we know our home record is going to be up there. Once we get that first away win we know we’re going to be comfortable like we were last year and take it from there.”
Gregory admitted his goal target is higher this season than last but wouldn’t reveal what he’s aiming for. He said: “It’s a lot better than last year. It’s a good start today.”
Czech wide man Jiri Skalak was signed from Brighton on Thursday and only came on in the 86th minute. “The team the gaffer picks, we know what he wants from us,” said Gregory. “When new players come in, it can take a while to get that. He’s doing the right thing in building the new players into it.
“[Skalak] only came in late this week so we’ve not seen much of him. But we’ve seen the videos and we know what he can do. Hopefully he’ll bring that to us.
“He’ll see what we’re about and he’ll adapt. He came in Thursday and hasn’t played much over the last year or so. The gaffer is going to have to get him into a few of the games. He’s a great player – he’s proven that in this league.”
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