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Shaun Williams relishing his first full season with Millwall

© Nicky Hayes
© Nicky Hayes

A LOT was riding on the final day of last season.

But for Shaun Williams, Millwall's decider against Bournemouth meant that little bit more.

Just three months after his £250,000-switch from MK Dons, the midfielder was teetering on the brink of a return to League One.

Having worked so hard to reach the second tier, Williams admits dropping down a division would have been doubly cruel.

Now though, the 27-year-old is relishing his first full season in the Championship.

"It was a big relief that we pulled through at the end of the season and hopefully we can push on now," Williams said, reflecting on that crucial 1-0 win over the Cherries.

"I would have been as devastated as anyone else if we'd been relegated, but I'd only moved to the club in January and had three or fiour months in the Championship.

"If we'd gone down I wouldn't have been a nice person to be around during the summer.

"Relegation would have been a nightmare so soon after my move, so I was absolutely buzzing that we stayed up.

"As soon as that Bournemouth game was over, my decision to leave MK became totally justified.

"That made survival even sweeter for me because I now have a clean slate and a full season in the Championship.

"I've only been here a short time but I love it and I'm so glad that I came to Millwall. Staying up was the icing on the cake."

Williams is not the only one heading into his first full campaign at The Den – manager Ian Holloway is in the same boat.

"The gaffer only came in in January and it took time for what he wanted to do to gel," the midfielder added.

"They weren't easy circumstances to come into, midway through a relegation battle, but he got his point across and came through for the club.

"Most managers do need a full pre-season. Last year the manager had a lot to do in a short space of time, but now we have the whole summer to work on his ideas.

"Until now we've been focusing on the next game, and the game after that, but we've got a bit of time and space to build our own identity over the summer."

Williams' appetite for the new campaign has been whetted by an opening-day fixture against Leeds, which is followed by a trip to recently-relegated Fulham.

"They are two big games," he said.

"When I first came here I said that I wanted to play against Leeds but I was suspended for the game at Elland Road.

"So to play them at our place on the first day of the season will be a bit special with the atmosphere. Fulham away is a London derby so it's an exciting start for us.

"I can't wait to get going again."

Alex Aldridge

(@accordingtoaldo)

7 thoughts on “Shaun Williams relishing his first full season with Millwall

  • July 2, 2014 at 18:51
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    No one needs to look any further than weeds foolem and why-come. Getting bored with talk of promotion. Consolidation in this division is paramount. After all we have signed a centre-back from a relegated team and a striker from the conference. If they set the division alight fair play, but we all need to be realistic. Most bookies have us as second favourite for relegation. It would be good to prove them wrong, but let us all be realistic. Mid table mediochrity for me.

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    • July 2, 2014 at 19:05
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      @wallchef: my sentiments exactly.

      All this talk of "doing a Burnley" is a little over the top.

      Two wins in the first two league matches and fair enough.

      Two defeats however...,.,.

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  • July 2, 2014 at 19:00
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    Williams you are not the one who cant wait for the season to kick of...and shaun i think your getting confused..it was the goal at QPR what saved us.bournemouth was just icing on the cake..ps i want to see you & a couple of others doing some gym work

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    • July 3, 2014 at 17:04
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      @Jim28: When did you become his manager?

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  • July 3, 2014 at 10:10
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    I remember beginning of last season with all the lomas signings we was all saying what a great season it was going to be I will wait till abput 10 games in then I will ale judgements

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  • July 3, 2014 at 14:30
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    Couldn't agree more with lion heart sometimes to much pre season hype not good aldo ,can you keep our feet on tera firma plz , only there are some on ere believe everything they told or read

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  • July 3, 2014 at 17:06
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    Players get excited before the season, so not surprised by the comments. I agree, lets see how the first 6-10 games go before getting above ourselves. There are so many good teams / big clubs in the division it is going to be an interesting season. Or a f****** nightmare!!!

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