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Millwall can challenge for promotion this season, says Bailey

© Brian Tonks
© Brian Tonks

NEW signing Nicky Bailey believes Millwall have the strength in depth to push for the Premier League this season.

Bailey is one of seven summer arrivals at The Den, joining Stephen Bywater, Steve Morison, Jermaine Easter, Lee Martin, Richard Chaplow and Scott McDonald in putting pen-to-paper on deals with the Lions.

And the 29-year-old reckons these new additions will help make Steve Lomas' side strong contenders in the Championship.

"Given some of the players that have been brought in, I don't see why we cannot sustain a promotion challenge this year," he said.

"The club made a really good start last year and then faded away. But with a bigger squad and more competition for places, that could make the difference. We have people that can score and create goals so if we can get it right, we should have a good season."

Bailey is eager to make a fresh start at The Den after a frustrating spell at Middlesbrough, who released him at the end of last season.

"You could tell the manager there [Tony Mowbray] how many games you have played in a certain position, and how many goals you've scored, and he would just say, 'I can't see it'. The evidence was there but he was the sort of person that would just say 'no'.

"Towards the end I was playing right-back and it just wasn't for me. I am the sort of person that just gets on with it. I didn't play as many games as I wanted to so it was very frustrating by the end. It was probably the right time for me to get out.

"I was playing well the season before last, even though it wasn't in my preferred position, but since then it feels like I've missed a year. That's never really happened to me before and I missed a lot of football – that will make me even more determined to stay in the team."

Bailey joined Middlesbrough from Charlton for £1.4million in 2010 after establishing himself as a goalscoring midfielder – but he feels his reputation has suffered during his time at the Riverside Stadium.

"I feel like I need to prove myself again but I'm the sort of character that doesn't let things affect me," he said. "I don't show any sort of emotions when things aren't going my way or when I'm out of favour, but put me on a pitch and it's a different story.

"I know what I can do if I am given a chance in front of goal. The more goals you score as a midfielder, the more attention and credit people give you. There is going to be tough competition for midfield positions because there are some good players here, but I want to be in the starting XI.

"I think I give it my all every single game. People will see that I never quit. I'm a 100 per cent team player. If there's a chance for somebody who's in a better position than me to score a goal, I will give them the ball every time. Hopefully I'll have more of an attacking role and be given the chance to get forward. I want people to see a bit of the old me."

Alex Aldridge

(@accordingtoaldo)

67 thoughts on “Millwall can challenge for promotion this season, says Bailey

  • July 31, 2013 at 08:28
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    Proper Millwall.

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  • July 31, 2013 at 08:34
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    He'll do a good job for us, you've made the right move mate, a scoring creative combative midfielder is what we want, I just can't wait. I am actually getting exited about the new season last year I was nervous.

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  • July 31, 2013 at 08:41
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    he should keep Trotter on his toes!

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    • July 31, 2013 at 09:01
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      Keep him on his a*** warming the bench more like.

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  • July 31, 2013 at 08:49
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    That's just what we all want to hear and looks like we've also got cover for a right back as well ;0)

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  • July 31, 2013 at 08:54
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    Give him a free reign,and he will score goals,Something we have been missing from midfield for years.

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  • July 31, 2013 at 08:57
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    Sat. 3pts.

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    • July 31, 2013 at 09:45
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      @malcolm03: Let's not get too carried away yet it will be a Long tough season and no easy games not even Yeovil, (I'm a nervous wreck already),
      Lets get right behind the lads and S.L. on Saturday,
      Also we could do with a few new songs( or old ones)to fill in the quiet gaps come on you songsters !.
      COYL !!!.

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  • July 31, 2013 at 09:12
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    Best pre season ever, Lomas has brought excitement back, if he gets the team to gel who knows what can happen, best squad of player we've had for years.

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  • July 31, 2013 at 09:24
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    Best squad I agree, but what is the starting eleven I can't pick it, forde, Henry and Morrison then I,am stuck

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  • July 31, 2013 at 09:27
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    Really good to hear this kind of positivity. Obviously you have to take it with a pinch of salt, but Bailey is right- with squad we have (Forde, Robinson, Shittu, Trotter, Morison, McDonald, Henry all being good Championship players) and the possibility of Shorey also joining, there is no reason we should not challenge for the play offs this year.

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    • July 31, 2013 at 10:06
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      @chrislapz: Chris, I think you have missed a couple off your list like Chaplow , Martin, Lowery & Beavers, would you not agree.

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      • July 31, 2013 at 15:00
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        @Barnlion: Completely agree with you! Wrote my comment too quickly this morning. Agree with all the comments on here that picking a starting XI is going to a problem for Lomas, which can only be seen as a good thing

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  • July 31, 2013 at 10:00
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    Looks like he had a problem with Mowbray playing him out of position,always looked a good player in midfield to me. Will want to prove him wrong and he seems the type of character to do just that.
    Happy days.
    Ps. This team will take time to gel,no manager brings in this amount of players and they click straight away. He must be given time to get it right, he and the board have done amazing things in the close seasons, so lets give them credit for that. So if the team looks a bit shaky and things dont go right, lets all of us , and the people around us, stay of their backs , and give it time.

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  • July 31, 2013 at 10:00
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    Come on you lions!

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  • July 31, 2013 at 10:04
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    Anyone know whats going on with Zuiverloon, is he still on trial or has he gone. Would be a hoofin signing if SL can get him. COYL!!!!

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    • July 31, 2013 at 11:04
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      @mfc1rob: Apparently there was a meeting yesterday at the den between Zuiverloon and Millwall and it was believed to go along the lines of thanks, but no thanks. It was reported that he was proper average against QPR. (Source: Alex Aldridge on Twitter)

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      • July 31, 2013 at 11:53
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        Cheers Windy.

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  • July 31, 2013 at 10:19
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    I am in agreement about the positive vibe surrounding the club at the moment.
    But come Saturday if we lose, dont judge anything and start calling for SL's head. I always give a manager coming in 10 games to get going and judge after that so the jury is out. Remember Morisons start, took him ages
    to get going,so ease off people..expectations and all that. Looking forward to watching Bailey and Mcdonald though.

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  • July 31, 2013 at 10:31
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    Looking likely to be the best attacking side I have ever seen Millwall have, taking nothing away from Bomber and Sad's ! Lets just hope that the experience of the players, makes the gelling process quicker !

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  • July 31, 2013 at 11:07
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    Its been a long time since i have felt a buzz of optimism, but i have this coming season. They need to gel a bit sharpish and i think they will battle and get some good results. I hope this "manager was wham" crap does not take hold and everyone gets behind him and the team !!! COYL.

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  • July 31, 2013 at 11:09
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    I would like to see Bailey and Trotter in centre midfield, Bailey's strength and tenacity will give more freedom to Liam to distribute the ball and create chances that were lacking last season, especially with the likes of Morison, Easter, Keogh, McDonald and yes N'Guessan up front all of whom can score.

    If the confidence and spirit that Bailey is showing is running through the whole squad we will be a force to reckon with in the League. SL seems to be doing a great job psychologically as well.

    My only concern is the quality of some of the matchday officials some of whom couln't referee an u11 five a side match. Millwall can loose vital points becuase of their bad and seemingly biased decisions. I hope SL can control himself on the touchline.
    Still am just nervous about the new season!

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  • July 31, 2013 at 11:24
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    I'm really looking forward to watching us play , we have a proper championship squad full of Wall type players , we are no longer punching above our weight , but our manager is inexperieced in this lge , he has to be given time , top ten and playing good attacking football will be good enough for me , if things click then who knows , one thing i'm sure of is we are staying up ,and i felt we were certian to go down before Lomas came in and blew us away with the players he managed to attract.
    Yeovil will be no pushover , we all know how teams at the bottom can beat the team at the top in this lge , we may have a quality squad but we are still just a small fish in a big pond .
    C,O,Y.L.

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  • July 31, 2013 at 12:01
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    Absolutely love people's positivity,,, but we need to remember we have potentially 2/3rds of our new line up who haven't played a game together. As much of an improvement the new boys may be they need time to gel and let's face it The Den is a difficult place to play for our own players when they are not firing properly. They need patience from all involved in the club. I've seen many a player be absolutely slaughtered for having a bad spell only to go on and be good solid players. We also have an unproven manager at this level and I wonder how long it will be before some of our fans start reminding him of his past when things aren't going well. He has done a good job so far and has got us all excited and looking forward to the new season and thats more than any other manager has done in a long time so please let's be patient and back him and the lads 100%.

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  • July 31, 2013 at 12:09
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    Any news on Shorey and De Ridder?

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  • July 31, 2013 at 12:28
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    I love this guy already, he is what we need in our midfield, a bit of fight and muscle but with a little technique thrown in to boot.....Our midfield has missed this in recent years. If he can form a decent partnership with whoever partners him in CM then i reckon he will shine this year.

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    • July 31, 2013 at 16:44
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      @could not agree more Windy:

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  • July 31, 2013 at 12:41
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    Comments about giving time etc are spot on, but you all know some of the mindless twats who will bang on about ex wham will be loud and clear come a couple of bad displays. I hope I'm wrong

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    • July 31, 2013 at 12:59
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      @beedoscores: I totally agree, everyone has to remember where we were at the end of last season and put it all into perspective for this one. We have brought in some decent championship players that need at least 6-8 matches to gel and fine tune themselves. I would take mid table obscurity this season if truth be told.....

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  • July 31, 2013 at 12:42
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    I am going for 2-0 on Saturday. COYL

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  • July 31, 2013 at 12:46
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    It's those kind if mindless twats that we need to distance ourselves from in order for the clubs images to move on from the bad old days. It's only then that the club may be able to expand to something bigger.

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  • July 31, 2013 at 14:02
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    Great victory for the Save Lewisham Hospital campiagn ! Well done MIllwall FC and fans for defeating Hunte's nasty attempt to close the A&E department

    http://www.millwallfc.co.uk/news/article/justice-done-957208.aspx

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    • July 31, 2013 at 23:24
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      @Peckhamlad:
      Brilliant! Nothing inspires like a good balancing act!!

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  • July 31, 2013 at 14:33
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    When are they going to make a decision on Shorey, think he's been at the wall for at least 2 weeks. They either want him or not. Who is stalling?

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    • July 31, 2013 at 14:56
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      What's happened with Marlon Deadwood ? Please tell me he's on his toes.

      @hants lion:

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      • July 31, 2013 at 15:26
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        @NICKOLA: A very good question. Sure he has disappeared into the sunset hopefully.

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        • July 31, 2013 at 17:02
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          @hants lion: heard he has gone to Bristol City for a trial?

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          • July 31, 2013 at 17:18
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            @Peckhamlad: Lets hope he gets found guilty.

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          • July 31, 2013 at 17:29
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            Yes, according to the Bristol City site he is training with them at the moment, played in a friendly recently and is hoping for a deal with them. Not as much as me I can assure you.

            @Peckhamlad:

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        • July 31, 2013 at 17:06
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          @hants lion: last spotted on London bridge Stn handing out flyers claiming new club wanted have my own boots will give 35 % commitment can you please ssow me the way to c a f c

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  • July 31, 2013 at 14:40
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    Agree with Peckhamlad, went on the march lots of Millwal shirts there. What with this and the shirt sponsor, whats next ?
    Maybe we could name a stand after Mother Teresa ?

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    • July 31, 2013 at 14:58
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      @sups8892: Well Bob Crow is a great supporter of Millwall Fc and always tries to plug the team at his meetings. Millwall's community image is good for the club and not elitist like a few I could mention. Still now we need a great victory for Millwall this new season!

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  • July 31, 2013 at 17:58
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    I saw a lot of promise last season (let's not forget the cup run and was 16 unbeaten?). The downfall was losing our top goal scorers and some unfortunate loan signings (jackets ultimate demise). The signings we have made have undoubtably improved us and I for one think we can challenge and I think the club as a whole are defiantly having a go

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  • July 31, 2013 at 18:06
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    Right back problem solved. Tyrone Mears is heading in our direction on a season long loan from Bolton

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    • July 31, 2013 at 18:38
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      That's why I love this site. Someone always knows somebody who knows something.
      Well done Lonz!!

      @Lonz:

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  • July 31, 2013 at 18:29
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    Our biggest concern should be injuries, we always seem to suffer in that department. Hopefully the pre-season injuries to McDonald, Trotter, Martin & Lowry will be it, but hopefully we'll have more strength in depth than in recent seasons.
    However I've put a couple of £ on Morison top champs scorer (50/1) and Millwall top 6 (11/1).
    2-0 Saturday COYL!!

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  • July 31, 2013 at 18:39
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    I disagree with seanmfc. The cause of Jacket's undoing was the failure to sign Woods. It led to us scrabbling about in desperation, and that doesn't work. SL has come in at an interesting time and has taken very positive action which has raised expectations. He has bought experienced players such as Bailey, McDonald, Martin etc who badly need to prove that they still have what it takes. I worry that they may be past it, and we shall end up with a big wage bill and nobody sellable. It's a hard task but SL needs to get the best out of these guys and bring on some youngsters

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    • July 31, 2013 at 19:36
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      @Den-i-Zen:

      Disagree with that mate, if we had got wood it would merely have papered over the cracks a major overhaul was needed and a fresh guy with new ideas and momentum has brought in what we needed I honestly believe if jackett had stayed we would not have signed these players

      Not a jackett knocker but time was right to go and freshen the club up as a whole

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      • July 31, 2013 at 22:15
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        @Millwall1979:
        Totally agree with what you are saying'
        Although Jacket done a fantastic job for us it was time for him & Millwall to move on.
        JB is now showing us how much he wants our club to succeed with his backing of SL in the signings
        he has made which in turn has brought the feel good factor back to the club.
        Let us all just give SL & the team time to gel.
        COME ON YOU WALL 🙂

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      • July 31, 2013 at 23:53
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        @Millwall1979: couldn't see that anyone answered your question about the rotund coach on Saturday. Alan Pearson a fitness specialist.
        Bring on Saturday!

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  • July 31, 2013 at 20:59
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    I'm not a jacket knocker either, he left the club ( not the squad) in a decent shape. I do however believe that loosing out on wood and the sale Henderson combined with those shocking loan signings was his demise.

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    • July 31, 2013 at 21:56
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      @seanmfc:

      I thought jackett was On borrowed time start of last season as to how far he could take us (by the way am not mystic meg i was not happy when we appointed SL but glad I have been proved wrong SO FAR)

      Lomas may be a ginger ex west ham s*** but he is out ginger ex west ham s*** and people candle mistakes in life but he is redeeming himself now and oh how nice would it be if we was successful with lomas and big fat agent Sam f**** them up !!

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  • July 31, 2013 at 21:59
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    Lets just think about it for a minute. Bailey is a proven midfield maestro, creating goals, scoring goals, and keeping morale high in the middle of the park. Alongside him could be Chaplow, Trotter, Jimmy or Wright. Chaplow is a very similar player to bailey but probably runs more, like Jimmy does, so those two in the middle will certainly create chances and score a few. Trotter, on his day, can be, in my opinion, the best attacking midfielder and box-to-box midfielder outside the Premier League. However, as we all know he hasn't really been doing it lately, maybe a behind-the-scenes fall out with Jackett, we don't know, however I believe that all he needs a good old kick up the ass, and boy will Lomas and Harris do that. Jimmy doesn't need an intro, no matter if we are winning or losing 7-0, whether its the 1st or 90th minute, whether its boiling hot or freezing cold, he will run his socks off and fight for the ball. Admittedly he isn't a very technically gifted player but every good team needs a proper grafter in its starting XI. Josh Wright was originally signed as a playmaker, however like many players last season, especially towards the end, he didn't do it. Again he is another one of those who needs some support, Lomas and Harris will supply that.

    So, with these 5 in the middle of the park, supplying good service to the likes of Morison, Mcdonald, Keogh, and possibly even Easter up-front, and with Henry, Martin, Woolforyd, Feeney, and N'guessen, on the wings goals will be a plenty.

    COYFL!! LETS DO A PALACE AND MUG OFF THE CHAMPIONSHIP!!!!

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    • July 31, 2013 at 22:04
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      @icemark100:
      Have it get in there wall I have never been more looking forward to a season than this dont f*** it up !!!! COYL

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    • August 2, 2013 at 07:39
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      @icemark100: If only we could play a 4-5-4 formation, eh? But seriously, this comes back to an earlier point raised in this thread: what is our starting XI and come to that, what is our starting formation. Our last (and only) promotion to the top flight was pretty much 4-2-4 or you could argue it was 4-4-2, but either way there were two wingers with just Hurlock and Briley running things in midfield. The equivalent in our current squad would be Bailey and Chaplow, but for me you have to make space for Liam, who (and I agree with Icemark) is a potential jewel in the crown - he just needs to get back to the player he was in the first half of last season (when incidentally he had someone up front to pass to rather than the headless chickens in the second half of the season). So that pushes me towards 4-3-3 with one of Henry (first choice), Martin maybe or Feeney (who looked really sharp in that training session the other day and could well have rediscovered his mojo).
      Nervous about Saturday too - not easy for a team to just come together and instantly gel.

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  • July 31, 2013 at 22:51
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    Not so sure about Tyrone Mears? 30 year old defender on a years loan (again) Rather somone a bit younger who Millwall buy or sign on contract. There is no need to rush though.

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    • August 1, 2013 at 10:04
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      @Peckhamlad: If he is any good, being 30 isn't a problem. I would have preferred Adam Smith but that option has gone, but we do need a RB and Dunne/Smith as cover

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      • August 1, 2013 at 11:30
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        @beedoscores: agree about the age, but its the loan bit I am concerned about. Rather have someone on contract.

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  • July 31, 2013 at 23:40
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    Luke Ayling would have been a better shout at RB. Only 21, a product of Arsenal's youth academy and looked good last year at Yeovil. Cheap wages I'd imagine as well/

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    • July 31, 2013 at 23:58
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      cant see us getting nicky shorey, surely we would have signed him up by now whats the hold up is he still with us. we are just getting him match fit for someone else sign him lomas ffs

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  • August 1, 2013 at 07:42
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    Has any one heard the news that we may be getting Tyrone Mears, a RB from Bolton on a season long loan?
    Is it complete cobblers?

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  • August 1, 2013 at 08:47
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    I agree Nicky, I've put a bet on us to win promotion, 80/1, rediculous odds. I'm hoping to fleece the bookie!!!

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  • August 1, 2013 at 09:56
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    millwall for the win come on millwall

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  • August 1, 2013 at 09:56
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    🙂

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  • August 1, 2013 at 10:08
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    Saw Gary Johnson on TV yesterday, says his boys are absolutely buzzing, lets hope tomorrow isn't a banana skin for us. I was well confident at begining of the week, but now getting nervous. I suppose thats the problem of being a Wall fan. Not good for your health!!!! 🙂

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  • August 1, 2013 at 10:08
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    Sorry I meant Saturday!!!!!!

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