With many jumping on the bandwagon of Millwall's early Championship success, the Lions have been brought crashing down to earth in just over a week.
It's starting to look like the step up is taking its toll, and the heavy schedule of three games in eight days looked to get ahead of Millwall. Maybe complacency comes into this as well, and who can blame the players after a stunning start to the season.
It all started with a bore draw against Reading at home. Steve Morison, so prolific this season, was unable to lock the Royals door and the visitors went home the happier out of the two sides.
Then the major shock. The Hornets made their way down to south London with high hopes after making a reasonable start to their Championship campaign, but I doubt anyone would have seen a 6-1 drubbing which really will live long in the memory.
The main positive for Millwall was the fitness of Liam Trotter, who bagged the consolation on the day and who has stepped up well to the second tier.
Then the third game was yet another home tie versus Ipswich Town in the Carling Cup.
The Tractor Boys were high in morale after beating potential play-off contenders Cardiff at Portman Road the previous weekend and surely felt the route to the next round would be more comfortable then they expected, especially after the fragility of the Millwall defence was exposed in the defeat to Watford.
The Lions went in 2-0 down rather than 3-0, but I’m sure Kenny Jackett’s men had a point to prove going out in the second half. Steve Morison bagged his customary goal after a very brief drought, but that was all the cheering the home crowd had.
The Championship proves that there are no easy games in football, as Millwall go to the Welsh capital and face a Cardiff side with possibly the most potent strike force outside the Premier League.
It wouldn’t hurt Millwall to go back to basics and take it a game at a time, play high tempo football and show that grit that comes with wearing the Lion on your chest. Cardiff will certainly make this a test and in some way, luckily for Millwall, September can’t get much worse with just the one point taken and a cup run ended.
Kenny Jackett has been quoted to say he needs some luck this month, but sometimes you have to make your own. Let’s hope the long journey will be worth it this Saturday.
Disclaimer: The views in this article are that of the writer and may not replicate those of the Professional Footballers' Association.
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