Millwall's Williams: We're targeting League One top six

© Edmund Boyden
© Edmund Boyden

MIDFIELDER Shaun Williams feels the physical nature of last Saturday’s game against CD Tondela will benefit Millwall when they face Shrewsbury on Saturday.

Williams scored the Lions’ second equaliser but it wasn't enough to prevent the Portuguese side winning 3-2.

The former Republic of Ireland U21 international is anticipating a similarly robust contest at New Meadow but believes his side can get their season up and running with a win.

He said: “The first game of the season is always going to be a bit scrappy but if we battle as well as they do hopefully the three points will follow.

“Tondela’s approach to the game surprised us a bit. There was some rustiness but that’s part and parcel of pre-season.

“I don’t know how many free-kicks there were but it kind of ruined the flow of the game. It felt at times like we couldn’t get near them and then when we had it there were always two or three coming towards you.

“They worked it quite well and it’s something we have to sharpen up on but that’s something we’ll work on.

“It was the first game on the new pitch, it’s a lot bigger than it was last season, but that’s not an excuse. It was quite tough covering the ground.”

Williams has scored just three times since joining the Lions in January 2014, having mostly occupied a central defensive or deep-lying midfield role, but he says boss Neil Harris wants his midfield to show more attacking impetus this season.

“In play he has been encouraging us to break forward into the box whereas before it was more sitting back. Hopefully I can get forward and get a few more goals.”

Williams also emphatically dismissed the notion that Millwall will feel the pressure of being one of the marked sides in the league and one of the title favourites.

Harris' side are currently joint third favourites to win League One behind Sheffield United and Wigan.

When asked if that pressure would be felt Williams said: “No, not at all, not by us. We’re focused on our goal to get into the top six.”

John Kelly

(@jkelly1882)

66 thoughts on “Millwall's Williams: We're targeting League One top six

  • August 4, 2015 at 09:00
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    Needs to be stronger in the tackle Williams and play good the whole season before he can talk about top 6. Last season he was a passenger towards the end and needs to get stuck in abit more

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  • August 4, 2015 at 09:10
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    This is the weakest league 1 I can remember. Sheff Utd would be the only decent team in it, apart from us of course. I lm looking for top 2. We just need a striker and the rest of the team to chip in with a few goals.

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    • August 4, 2015 at 09:20
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      @NPEgentlemansclub: Agree. Definitely the weakest this league has been in a while and as already mentioned an experienced Striker and left Winger is still required. Beevers can double up in both CB and LB positions as cover, so can Craig if the club are counting the pennies this season. Hopefully Archer will start on Saturday and make the No.1 GK position his own. Time for new blood between the sticks.

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    • August 4, 2015 at 09:45
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      @NPEgentlemansclub: I admire your optimism but saying top 2 without a proven striker is a contradiction in terms. Can only think it sounded better in your head my friend

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  • August 4, 2015 at 09:13
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    I'll be happy with top 10 with the squad we've got tbh need another experienced cb, winger and a striker before thinking about top 6!

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  • August 4, 2015 at 09:13
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    'Tough covering the new pitch'
    Not being funny, but they have made a big of changing the pitch size and of how fit the team are for the new season. Presumed they would have changed the training pitch?

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  • August 4, 2015 at 09:21
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    It never fails to amaze me how professional footballers are so disciplined during a game.
    "The manager said I can't go pass that line, so I didn't, I was told to always pass and never shoot so I always pass even when through on goal"
    "I've been told to get forward more so I will"

    We've all played football, and we never do exactly as managers say or what we practised at training. You go with the flow and improvise, you run up from the back and have a whack. You do venture onto the edge of the box and don't stay in the centre.

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  • August 4, 2015 at 09:29
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    With the new season upon us, I am feeling quite optimistic as to how this season will pan out (let's face it, the last few years have been dreadful). Good seeing some confidence within the team, be it pre-season has not been the most successful campaign, if you look at some areas of our team, there is some real quality and experience, mixed in with some young blood and a legend of a manager which I know the fans will get behind.

    My first 11 for Saturday as follows.

    Forde
    Cummings Craig Beevers J Martin
    Fred Upson Williams L Martin
    Gregory Marquis

    What would your first 11 be?

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    • August 4, 2015 at 09:53
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      @PerthLion:
      Sorry but I'm not convinced after the game on Saturday. I think like always will do well against the 'big' clubs in the division. I'm really worried abut the teams, on paper we should beat. We need a Bailey, Rae kind of player to break up play but also do something with the ball. Jimmy can do one of those jobs. But unfair to peg our hopes on one player. Williams and Upson don't seem to have the right chemistry for me . Although I like both players very much.

      The squad doesn't feel whole to me, but that might just be me?
      I've tried to put down a starting 11 but keep chopping and changing. Although I've heard they have this young Lion, plays up front. Been coming through the ranks for years called ZAMPA!

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      • August 4, 2015 at 10:58
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        I agree, although you should not put too much store in Pre season games, it was worrying the lack of football played, apart from a few minutes in the first half, we were back to hoofing the ball up front to nobody. Fred and Martin played well, the defence were awful, all three goals were not just fordes fault, all were to blame. Press the dislike all you want, but Marquis is not up to even this level, yes he tries, but when things do not go his way he loses his head, he was very lucky not to have been red carded for his challenge. NH has a lot of work to do before Shrewsbury, got my ticket and can not wait COYL

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  • August 4, 2015 at 09:42
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    I fail to see how Williams can say we are targeting top 6 when our strikers can't score

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      • August 4, 2015 at 10:35
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        @brooker: so you expect our defends to score 48 goals, and given the previous seasons, not concede. I can only assume you are joking :-)

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  • August 4, 2015 at 10:15
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    There are no magic wands no quick fix at Millwall. Let's be honest we have been poor last 3 seasons. And was lucky not to be relegated earlier. Having said that. I think Harris has a tough job. The chairman giving him no financial support. We all know we are short in numbers in terms of quality players. What do we do. s*** of team and Harris. Or support the team and Harris and s*** of the board and chairman. I know what way my anger will be directed. Good luck Millwall I hope top 6. Only time will tell

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    • August 4, 2015 at 10:46
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      @dave666: you can hardly say 600k for hanson is not supporting Neil! keep in mind we are now a div 1 club that is about to fall foul of the FFP, and on paper, look more like relegation material than promotion. our enthusiasm has only come about by who our manager is. not trying to be negative, its just how I see it. we are effectively starting again with a lot of young players. just to stay in div 1 at the end of the season would be a result. ambler for me is a loose cannon but jb has put money into a club that has low gates, without a realistic sight of repayment. we could do a lot worse. yes we want our club to be champions league, but its just not realistic. I have little expectations of this club, maybe a win every now and again, the odd promotion when we fluke it like we did against swindon. my expectations are with the supporters, to stand up, intimidate the opposing team and supporters, and never have the p*** taken out of us, and never run

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      • August 4, 2015 at 11:09
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        @Geoff the lion: jacket holloway and lomas all spent money on crap. Harris has spent very little. And is realiying on youth.

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        • August 4, 2015 at 11:25
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          @dave666: which goes to prove Dave that JB will spend money (too a point) but it was wasted by poor managers. as I said before, 600k for hanson isn't chicken feed for a club our size, that has heavy debt, and will be smacked in January on the FFP. NH has got a mother of a job on his hands, but at least he has been evolved in developing the youth. not sure its going to be enough and I and im sure everyone would like nothing more than for Neil to be a millwall success in management.

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          • August 4, 2015 at 12:04
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            @Geoff the lion: I agree Dave, but its why harris hasn't spent rather than money available. it might just be a combination of both, limited money and lack of choice on available players. JB put 600k up, but maybe that's all there is, so neil doesn't want to buy another three legged donkey. either way mate, it is what it is and as long as the players fight, im good with that considering the situation the club is in

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          • August 4, 2015 at 12:12
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            @Geoff the lion: I don't disagree with you we all won't the same I just wish Harris had more to spend

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        • August 4, 2015 at 11:45
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          @dave666: no dave, we haven't bought hanson because he didn't want to play for us. the point is JB has put money up. short of noshing him off, what can he do?

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          • August 4, 2015 at 11:49
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            @Geoff the lion: all I'm saying is Harris so far has had no investment. Jb has spent money in the past I agree with you. But Harris hasn't. My point is all other managers spent except Neil.

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        • August 4, 2015 at 12:35
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          @dave666: Harris knows the youth better than anyone as he was the Under 21's manager, I think we will be alright!

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          • August 4, 2015 at 12:43
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            @DannyG: I'm sure we will. I'm behind Harris and team

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  • August 4, 2015 at 10:24
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    No sign of a new striker then? There is still a few days left but it's still a depressing state of affairs that for last two seasons the need has been obvious but nothing has been done to rectify it.

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    • August 4, 2015 at 10:35
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      @Peckhamlad:
      Isn't it funny that we have keep crap players and bought/loaned even more in previous seasons. Then the season we get rip of the crap we don't bring anyone in.

      No wonder we are all nuts, we've been driven to it.

      HAHA COYL!

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  • August 4, 2015 at 11:00
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    Morning all.

    I've heard that we've done the deal for Moro but there's still nothing confirmed on the club site or obviously here on NAD.

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      • August 4, 2015 at 11:09
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        @Geoff the lion:

        Lol!!

        Couple of sites I've seen say we're his preferred destination but that his wages are the stumbling block, apparently 14/16k a week depending what you read. He's out of contract next year so will have to lower his wage demands massively if he wants to stay with us unless we go up!!

        We'll see though, nothing is confirmed till it's on the club site and that's what they always say when dismissing any rumours as I've learnt.

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      • August 4, 2015 at 11:13
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        @Peckhamlad:

        Exactly Peckham, better the devil you know and all that. If it's true he's got a year to prove himself putting in a shift and then take it from there given that he'll be almost 33 - he's 32 on 29th August.

        I'm prepared to give him a chance with an open mind for the bigger picture of the club.

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      • August 4, 2015 at 12:43
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        @LETEMCOME:

        Oh dear............a mate heard it on facebook so not exactly the most reliable source lol!!

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  • August 4, 2015 at 11:34
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    Here we go again the start of a new season,we have lot's of doom and gloom with people saying our defence is rubbish,we need a striker to score 15 to 20 goals a season well i have been looking at some of these so called 15 to 20 goal scorer's that our fan's want and guess what they aint been scoring 15 to 20 goals a season on a regular basis and those that have are so out of our price range it is not true,so please let us drop that one.
    Now let us look at another scenario,i was not at the game on saturday against the portugese side,but i am told that at least two of the goal's were down to Forde,so let us say Forde did his job and saved those two goals and we won 2-1 against a side that is of a better standard than the vast majority of team's in our div1 ,would some of the doubter's be a bit more upbeat about our chance's.
    Realisticly bearing in mind Forde has already brought his mistake's from last season into this season , i would bring archer in straight away,after all if NH pick's Forde ahead of Archer,he will be telling Archer even though Forde is making mistake's that cost us goal,s NH think's Forde is better than him.
    Accepting the fact we are going with the player's we have,all i ask of NH is that he has the courage to replace Forde with Archer,as i have said before i think Forde is a great shot stopper but his failing is dealing with long shot's,cross's and dominating his 6 yard box is poor and going by saturday it's getting worse.
    So please NH give Archer his chance.

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    • August 4, 2015 at 11:42
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      @jim1222: cant say as I disagree with you Jim, but having a striker that could find the net every now and again would be a start. for me, a good team has goals coming from all over the pitch. our defenders are starting to get on the score sheet, as midfielders, so not all doom and gloom. trouble is those goals are few and far between and cant be expected nor relied upon. 15 goals each from two main strikers, in this league, isn't a big ask, or at least it shouldnt be! as for forde, he had his day along time ago im afraid. not a bad shot stopper granted, but he cannot command his box, which in part is why our defense is so crap at set pieces. I would give Archer a decent run of games and see how he does

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      • August 4, 2015 at 12:02
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        @Geoff the lion:
        I'm not a Forde fan the first goal on Saturday was all him. The other two however I cannot blame him 100%. Defending was terrible!

        But we dust ourselves off and get back to it. The players seem to want to play for Neil which is a good sign. If Morro does sign, he will hopefully help he's pal Harris control the dressing room.

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      • August 4, 2015 at 12:02
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        @Geoff the lion: Sky Sports are doing there 92Live round up for all clubs across all 4 divisions. So when we get our 30 second air time piece from them(Unless of course we are Leeds) hopefully the club may announce a Striker signing. Which is now looking more likely.

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  • August 4, 2015 at 11:43
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    I open this site everyday now to see the name of the promised striker.
    Alas, nought, nothing, zero!

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  • August 4, 2015 at 11:46
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    The excitement is killing me over this Moro signing ,him and marquis ,there be goals galore will run away with this league ,, then I woke up :0(

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  • August 4, 2015 at 11:59
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    Millwall needs 3-5yrs of steady progression with sensible signings and youth development in order to keep FFP at bay and not risk the clubs future...
    Gregory will score goals in this league.. Yes we need another striker but it will not be a "goal machine" as we simply can not attract or afford one!!

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    • August 4, 2015 at 12:31
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      @ettieneverveer: Spot on. We've spent the last five years trying to match the established, richer Championship clubs with ever diminishing returns. The bottom line is that we can't compete financially and have to find another way.

      As far as I understand, we have little debt but low revenues. And the constraints of FFP mean that we can't just throw the Chairman's money around to compensate. Plus, in League 1 we are subject to the Salary Cost Management Protocol (http://www.financialfairplay.co.uk/scmp.php), which means that we can't spend more than 60% of turnover on player wages. We still have a lot of experienced pros on the books who will be on sizeable wages (Forde, Cummings, Webster, Beevers, Craig, Williams, Abdou, Upson, Lee Martin...), and we are quite likely still to be paying for the sackings of Lomas and Holloway. Hence, there is little room for manoeuvre. Our new striker will have to be either big transfer fee, low pay (Hanson) or no fee, higher pay (Morison?). We can't splurge on the big name that everyone is demanding.

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    • August 4, 2015 at 12:37
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      @Geoff the lion:@ettieneverveer: We don't need the 20+ goal scorer, we need the right partner for Gregory who will allow him to score the 20-30 goals, while chipping in with 10 himself, someone who can head a ball, feed a decent trough ball and hold up play and support midfield.

      Gregory will get goals with the right players around him, he is an off the shoulder run into space player, not crosses into his head player, his first touch was poor last season so playing it into his feet isn't the option either.
      Upson, williams jimmy need to thread it through to him, and he needs someone to get flick ons to him.

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  • August 4, 2015 at 12:03
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    My two penny's worth. Keep Forde in for half a dozen matches for his experience and not put pressure on Archer straight off. Try, injuries, permitting, to pick a team and stick to it, even if results are not as expected, keep a settled side and then see who keeps his place. No more wholesale chopping and changing and it will be very important for us fans not to panic if it does not go right from match one. Then if adjustment or injuries dictate change only one or two at a time. History shows that ALL sucessful teams play more or less the same side game in game out.

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      • August 4, 2015 at 12:32
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        @lennie the lion: Sorry lennie i cannot agree one bit with what you say'Archer's confidence at the moment must be reasonably high,to have him sitting on the bench for six game's,then bringing him in can only put more pressure on the boy.
        Forde's performence's have been suspect for some time now,to the point no other club came in for him,to leave him in goal is telling Archer,although Forde's form is not good we still think he is better than you.@dave666:

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        • August 4, 2015 at 12:43
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          @jim1222: 3 things we can do with Forde
          he is still one of the higher earners that we need to offload, for that to happen he needs to put himself in the shop window and we need to play him for that to happen,
          1) Start him until the end of the transfer window, if he has a blinder we will be in a good position to let him go and change then with a confident defence and an able replacement.
          2) Keep him as he has proven himself on the premise that if all is still well and there is interest he can leave in January.
          3) If he has a stinker up until the window shuts then we can change it up and still have plenty of time to make up any lost ground.

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  • August 4, 2015 at 12:16
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    we need to lighten the mood up.... "he scores when he wants, he scores when he waaaaants, Jonny Marquis, he scores when he wants" Eeeevrrrybody

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    • August 4, 2015 at 12:40
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      @Strood Lion:

      Prolific at MK 54 in 117 but that was 04-07, shame he only lasted 7 games after the row with Kenny lol!

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    • August 4, 2015 at 12:35
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      @REAL Supporter: Hope he brings his dummy after the last time was here,not happy at that news think it was KJ who sent him back to the trainspotters

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      • August 4, 2015 at 12:39
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        @eddiebrewer: Think you're right Eddie about KJ. Absolute useless lump and him being an ex-anorak makes it even worse.

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        • August 4, 2015 at 13:02
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          @REAL Supporter: see I got a dislike strange Mcleod must read NAD,when he was here only scored two goals one a penalty against Stockport if my memory serves me right

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          • August 4, 2015 at 13:26
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            @eddiebrewer: I've got a horrible feeling Strood might be right. He's been left out of the Crawley Town team pic. Hopefully, Notts County succeed in getting him.
            As for the dislikes, it's either him, his mum or a Charlton supporter!

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  • August 4, 2015 at 13:28
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    If we do get moro,at least it look's as though he is fit,unlike signing's in the past where it has taken a month or so to get them up to match fitness.

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  • August 4, 2015 at 14:09
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    Twitter alive with speculation we are announcing a signing this afternoon, looks like it's Stevie M on his way back according to most sources......

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  • August 4, 2015 at 14:10
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    on a leeds website that they have cancelled Morrisons contract to allow him to join us! he will do for me but he is not a hanson type CF, but i'm sure Harris knows the best way to play him, unlike the last bloke.

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