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Millwall midfielder insists he thrives on penalty pressure

© Brian Tonks
© Brian Tonks

LIAM Trotter insists he thrives on the pressure of taking Millwall's penalties.

Trotter showed nerves of steel to bury a stoppage-time equaliser from the spot to salvage a point for the Lions against Reading on Saturday.

The 25-year-old looked to be the most relaxed man inside the Madeski Stadium as he rifled the ball into the roof of the net – but he feared his shot was going to hit the bar.

He said: "I wanted to go for the top corner so that it would be out of the keeper's reach, but there was a split second when I looked up and thought 'ah sh*t'!

"Thankfully for me it just went underneath and it was good for us to get the point."

Trotter is Millwall's go-to man when they are awarded a penalty and says he has learned to cope with the heavy weight of expectation on his shoulders.

"I wouldn't say I was too nervous but I'm always aware of the pressure and what it means – at whatever point it is in the game," he said.

"But I like that pressure and it is a responsibility I put on myself. Ultimately it is a free shot from 12 yards against the 'keeper, so I always fancy my chances and keep it in my head that, if I do what I can, I should score."

But the midfielder has not always been so clinical from the spot.

He said: "When I was a kid I missed every single penalty I ever took. The first one I ever took in professional football was for Scunthorpe in a penalty shoot-out a couple of years ago and I decided from that point I'd focus on them.

"You are not going to score every one but every time I step up I feel that, if I make the right contact with the ball, it should go in nine times out of ten.

"I practice them as often as I feel like I need to. Some days I just put the ball on the spot in training and take two or three, but it's not something you can overly-practise because you can't replicate the nervousness, anxiety or the crowd booing and shouting.

"As I stepped up their, 'keeper hit the bar and made it wobble, which is against the rules because it can put your alignment out when you're looking at the goal, but nobody does that in a training session!"

Trotter felt the Lions fully merited their point against the Royals.

He added: "It's more satisfying when you feel that you deserve it – sometimes you get a last-minute equaliser and you know that you didn't deserve it but you're just so grateful that you got that point.

"On Saturday we were arguably the better team for a lot of the game, we created some good chances and if it wasn't for one sloppy goal that we gave away, we could have won it.

"The most satisfying thing was that we got the minimum we deserved."

Alex Aldridge

(@accordingtoaldo)

15 thoughts on “Millwall midfielder insists he thrives on penalty pressure

  • October 28, 2013 at 07:11
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    Nerves of steel to take a last minute penalty,well done Trotts !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

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    • October 28, 2013 at 09:40
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      @Longfield Lion: The penalty from the Wall end. Buzzing! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z4oADiDqp0Y

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  • October 28, 2013 at 07:50
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    Always have faith in him when he steps up. He's a classy penalty taker.

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  • October 28, 2013 at 08:09
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    I think liam is an integeral part of the team i know he isnt everybodys cup of tea cos of his lazy style of play but imo when he plays well so does the team. Also i think he is benefiting from lomas`s more ball on the deck football

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    • October 28, 2013 at 12:13
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      @bazzer: Bazzer a good assesment of the player and I am one of those who are of the opinion that he is lazy, I know he has all the tools to be a really good player but he never seems to use his full potenialin games. He did well with the pen even though he hit the underside of the crossbar, but a good result following on from last weeks comeback.

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  • October 28, 2013 at 08:58
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    Wahey Trotter keep em coming!

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  • October 28, 2013 at 10:42
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    Mr Composure. Well done Trotter. I am praying that the board make you a serious offer to stay. Our best player by a country mile in my humble opinion.

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    • October 28, 2013 at 11:05
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      @wall2wall: Completely agree, a few season ago Jackett said he wanted to build a team around Trotter, a 6ft 2” central attacking midfielder who is a playmaker, takes penalties and scores from open play, plenty of experience and still only 25… Club need to pull out all the stops for the lad. Worst case scenario - if he does sign a new contract any club wanting him will have to play big to lure him away.

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      • October 28, 2013 at 11:27
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        @Bexley_Lion:
        I would build my team around him. Definately agree with you regarding his contract. Same thing happened with Morison I think and it helped us get a good fee rather than peanuts.

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  • October 28, 2013 at 11:43
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    Read more or less this report in the Daily Mirror this morning, the guy is class for us, great attitude and agree the tteam should be built around him. Del Trotter of Peckham stand aside for Liam Trotter !

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  • October 28, 2013 at 15:55
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    Trotts is good but seems in my opinion to play for himself rather than Millwall. Yes he's good a spot kicks until he misses one and looses confidence. A generally all roung good egg

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    • October 28, 2013 at 16:41
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      @aeojt:
      Very surprised that you feel he plays for himself. All opinions of course but I really dont see that at all. For example when he robbed Dunne of the ball against Leeds instead of going for goal looked up and put it on a plate for McDonald. Most would of went for the glory themselves in that position.

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  • October 28, 2013 at 16:42
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    Against QPR I mean.

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  • October 28, 2013 at 23:44
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    youll never drive the van trotter....but i like ya..

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  • October 29, 2013 at 09:19
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    He'll never shake the doubters but it's that same layed back attitude that allows him to take a pressure penalty. If he had the pace he'd be in the prem not down the Den. He's the Millwall Ya Ya. ...well done Liam keep it going son.

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