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Millwall defender: I wanted Cardiff to "crumble" in tunnel

© Millwall FC
© Millwall FC

DANNY Shittu has revealed how he "psyched out" Cardiff's players in the tunnel before heading Millwall to a vital three points at The Den.

The defender's intimidating war cry was captured by the TV cameras as the two sides lined up outside the dressing rooms ahead of Saturday's clash.

And Shittu admitted that he was trying to give the Lions a psychological edge by putting the frighteners on Russell Slade's visitors.

The 34-year-old's mind games did the trick as he rose above a timid challenge from Federico Macheda to power in a second-half corner.

Shittu said: "Psyching out the opposition is something I do. You've got to get to them before the game starts so you affect them mentally.

"It is something my teammates see and it picks them up as well. They see that the other players crumble.

"I did that and it gave the team a lift.

"It's a bit of intimidation but it's all part of the game.

"Everybody knows I am a nice friendly guy after the game but before the game I want my team to win and I'll do anything I can to help my team mates win."

Asked what exactly he said in the tunnel, a grinning Shittu added: "It's a bit of talking, a bit of everything.

"You might have to see it yourself one day and be in the tunnel – it's hard to explain."

Shittu made a dream return to the Lions' line up after going seven months without making a league appearance.

Not long ago, he feared his Millwall career would be ended by an Achilles injury.

"There have been times when I've doubted myself – maybe I can't play again," he said.

"I've had to work so hard over these last couple of months. If you'd asked me this six weeks ago I didn't even think I was right then.

"When I felt right and told the gaffer, he was worried about me because he didn't want me to come back and pull it again.

"Obviously he was upset when I did my Achilles injury and he's always been worried about me coming back and doing it again.

"It has been really hard for me – not just physically but mentally as well, especially at my age when you get such a serious injury like that.

"You either crumble or work hard.

"Over the last couple of weeks I've felt amazing and it's down to the hard work they've done
with me and I do feel like I can play Saturday-Tuesday-Saturday now."

After so long out, Shittu had to cope with a few pre-match butterflies.

"There was a lot of nerves in the beginning because I wasn't sure," he said.

"All I wanted was for us to win and for me not to make a mistake because I did feel like I was playing my first game in a new team!

"I'd have just taken a win from today, but for everything to go the way it did – thank God for that and I'm happy."

Shittu hailed manager Ian Holloway for keeping his spirits up during the darkest days of his injury lay-off.

The centre back said: "When you're down or he sees the worry in your face, he picks you up. He's the kind of character that comes into the physio room.

"He doesn't hide away. He will be in the physio room in the morning making everybody laugh, making everybody feel comfortable.

"If he does see that you're down he tries to pick you up, tells you to keep going and keep working hard.

"I'm glad I'm part of a club that really works on the players, whether you're playing or not.

"A lot of the time I had to put my head down and just work. I had to concentrate on myself, get myself right.

"I didn't want to be around the team [while I was injured] because I wasn't mentally there.

"A lot of the time I just had to put myself to the side and work hard. When I did feel right the manager started involving me again.

"Even though the last couple of games I haven't been playing he's been telling me about how I've been, how the lads see it and how it affects them.

"I'm just glad I'm able to be where I am now.

"The last couple of games I didn't play but I still felt part of the team and I'm just glad when he called on me I was able to do what I normally do."

Alex Aldridge

(@accordingtoaldo)

21 thoughts on “Millwall defender: I wanted Cardiff to "crumble" in tunnel

  • October 27, 2014 at 08:43
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    Glad to see you back fully fit and playing so well..keep it going

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    • October 27, 2014 at 08:54
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      @Jim28: Fully agree Jim, at last we had a staring eleven that looked and played like Millwall, lets hope he puts the same side out on Saturday or as near as he can as someone will get a knock on the trainning ground "they always seem to" well done Danny a proper CB and Captain.

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  • October 27, 2014 at 09:13
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    This is what being captain is really all about. Danny is Wall.

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  • October 27, 2014 at 09:20
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    The whole team Sing the monk song in the tunnel that will do the trick.

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  • October 27, 2014 at 09:34
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    Back from the brink, Danny Shittu, well done and keep it going my old son!

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  • October 27, 2014 at 09:38
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    Just another reason why Danny should be Captain and centre half in the team instead of Dunne.

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  • October 27, 2014 at 09:42
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    A true leader and proper centre half, if Dunne gets back in the team there's a problem

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  • October 27, 2014 at 09:53
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    He's obviously watched how Robbo used to get the teams going in the tunnel... He would always make sure the other team knew where they were. Two top CB's and captains

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  • October 27, 2014 at 10:01
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    Before people start going out and buying the T-Shirts again they should watch the game again. Shittu made two absolute howlers on Saturday that seem to be being glossed over. It was his slip and soft header that led to Forde's World class double save and he was also on his backside again in the second half and was lucky to get away with handball on the edge of the six yard box and lucky that there wasn't a Cardiff player to bang the loose ball in the back of the net. When your luck is in it's in, but if Dunne had made these mistakes we'd have a 100+ negative posts on here about it. Cue lots of dislikes.........

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    • October 27, 2014 at 10:54
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      I think your wrong.
      If Dunne had played like that on Saturday and got the winning goal after being out for 7 months he would of got the same sort of praise.
      @lion.ie

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      • October 27, 2014 at 11:28
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        @wall2wall: Wrong about what? Your comment doesn't make sense. The mistakes happened, there's no denying them. If Dunne, Beevers, Webster, Williams or anyone else had made those mistakes they'd have been criticised and rightly so. All I'm pointing out is that Shittu's performance is being called 'brilliant', when it wasn't. Was he inspirational on the day? Possibly, but that's a different discussion.

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        • October 27, 2014 at 11:54
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          @lion.ie: have to agree with you on some of your comments mate , although Danny played ok . He was bit clumsy on the ball and fell over twice although good in the air as always . Webster is far more composed at cb . Danny is a legend and good squad player in my opinion . Great goal but helped by McDonald getting In between. Defender and goalie . Personally I think that McDonald was motm ?

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        • October 27, 2014 at 12:24
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          @lion.ie
          I think that after being out for so long that he can be forgiven for a couple of slips especially after scoring the winner and playing a captain's role.
          I,as you know am one of the people that think Dunne is no longer good enough to be in the starting 11. Even though I think that I dont slate him for every mistake. I think he's been brilliant for Millwall but I think his time is up and we have better options.
          Danny Shittu played a captains role and is a natural leader on and off the pitch for me.
          So overall Shittu had a very good game on Saturday for me but you disagree but it's all about opinions so no problems there.
          The good news for all of us is that the players obviously respect Holloway and like playing for him and things are looking up.

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    • October 27, 2014 at 11:19
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      @lion.ie: Don't think Dunne would have got the goal, that won us the game ?

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      • October 27, 2014 at 11:50
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        @sups8892: He wouldn't have, no argument.

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    • October 27, 2014 at 11:21
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      @lion.ie: I am not diagreeing with your post, but what I took from the game was that we looked more of a unit and on the whole delat with Cardiff well, yes he did make a couple of mistakes but who would not after nopt playing for getting on for nine months.

      But the main thing is that we won and he also scored and he has so much more presents at centre half then Alan Dunne, on the football league show Leroy Rosinnor called he a big unit and thats what he is. If he or any other Millwall player di not make mistakes, they would be somewhere else rather than playing in the Championship.

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      • October 27, 2014 at 11:44
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        @Barnlion: That's all I'm saying Barnlion, it's not about Dunne vs Shittu, I defend Dunne on here, not because he's a great centre back, he isn't, but because the criticism is way over the top and he has become the scapegoat for every bad result we have. I'm certainly not going to defend his pundit performance on Sky, that was truly shocking. It's not about Shittu vs Dunne, it's about fair assessment and criticism of a players performance rather than getting caught up in hype. It was an impressive team performance on Saturday with some solid performances but for me the most impressive player was Gregory who looked completely at home playing against a good Championship defence. If he'd taken one of those chances; now that would've been a 'brilliant' performance.

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        • October 27, 2014 at 19:44
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          I do think Williams had a good game also. Some of the balls he played was class, especially for gregors.IMO COYL!!

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  • October 27, 2014 at 10:05
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    well done Danny great to have you back and we looked solid after fordeys double save also a mention for Martin who has given us some pace and width, mcdonald who actually looks classy and gregs who does not give the defence a minutes peace and got to say wilkinson who kept noone very quiet as he has run us regged in the past . great wall performance

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  • October 27, 2014 at 12:35
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    TOP MAN

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  • October 27, 2014 at 12:47
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    There is your true captain. Big, strong, powerful, vocal and an out and out centre back. That's what he does.

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