WINGER Liam Feeney says Steve Lomas has given him a new lease of life since the Northern Irishman's appointment as Millwall manager.
Feeney played 85 minutes in the Lions' 3-1 victory over Gillingham on Saturday and was a constant threat with his pace and deliveries from wide areas.
The 26-year-old came close to leaving The Den in January when former club Bournemouth came in for him, but he hopes to reinvent himself under Lomas this season.
He said: "The gaffer is backing me, which I appreciate. He's told me to do what I feel is right when I'm in the final third, and that's given me confidence to go and try things. I need to be making the right decisions on the ball more often than not.
"If you just stand out on the wing you can get yourself marked out of games and you might not touch the ball for ten minutes. Other teams find it difficult if you have a bit of variation and cut inside.
"I have to pick the right time to do that because it's important for me to stay wide and get crosses in. A new manager means a clean slate for everyone – I'm just working hard on my game so that I can be in the team and helping out.
"If I do well enough hopefully I can nail down one of those wide positions."
Millwall's pre-season preparations stepped up a gear at the Priestfield Stadium and Feeney believes Lions fans should be optimistic ahead of the big kick-off on August 3.
He said: "It was another game on the road to match sharpness for us but we expected an improvement after the Brentford game. We saw went wrong, worked on how to put things right during the week and I thought we put together a really good performance.
"It's all coming together nicely at the moment. Everyone is fighting for their places – especially the forwards. Jermaine Easter has been playing really well, Andy Keogh has come back looking sharp and Steve Morison scored twice.
"All three link up well with each other and the rest of the boys are working hard as well. Without getting carried away, we're moving in the right direction.
"Expectations are quite high. We don't expect to be down where we finished last year – we want to be up there. With the new players coming in and everyone vying for the shirt at the moment, we look like we've got a really strong squad."