SID Nelson has praised the impact that on-loan Southampton defender Jos Hooiveld has had on his early Millwall career.
The academy graduate has only played eight senior games for Millwall but, feels he has adapted to first-team football well thanks to Hooiveld’s guidance.
The duo have formed a strong partnership at the heart of the Lions’ defence, and Nelson feels he is taking on board all the advice the 31-year-old has given him.
“Jos Hooiveld plays a big part in calming me down during games,” Nelson said. “Jos will pull me to one side and help me keep my cool – he tells me that I don’t have to win everything and that I should be focused on staying in shape.
“When a player with his experience gives you advice, you take it on board straight away. I can be a little bit rash sometimes but playing next to him is great.
“It’s the same with the other lads and in training as well – Alan Dunne, Shaun Cummings, Mark Beevers and Dan Harding are all brilliant with me.”
Having so many experienced players around him, Nelson feels he has settled quicker in the first-team, and is learning how to cope with a higher calibre of opposition striker.
Nelson said: “The strikers are clever, in an U21s game, if the ball is in the air you go up to challenge for it – and that’s that really.
“In the first team, the strikers will put you off and it’s much harder to win the ball. The physicality of it is something that I’ll have to grow into – some of the strikers I’ve played against are bigger and stronger than me.
“It is hard but I feel like I’m coping with it well. Having some experienced players around me is helping so much.”