Millwall's Archer: First home league win will be "great" occasion

© Millwall FC
© Millwall FC

JORDAN Archer refused to reach for an excuse as he reflected on Saturday’s defeat to Southend at The Den.

Millwall were on top for large spells against Phil Brown’s side but couldn’t breach an away defence inspired by Archer’s opposite number Daniel Bentley.

Archer did not have a save to make in 90 minutes but still ended up having to pick the ball out of his net twice after two close-range headers from David Mooney and Adam Barrett.

“It was a frustrating afternoon," he said. “I thought we dominated large parts of the game but we just couldn’t produce in the final third and in this game if you don’t put the ball away there is always a chance that the opposition will and they got two point-blank headers which I couldn’t do much about.

“It was disappointing.

“That’s the nature of the game, if you don’t concentrate at the back you’re susceptible to conceding and we were probably too focussed on trying to nick a goal and left ourselves exposed at the back.

“We lost concentration and we got punished.”

The Lions had made successive trips north to play Crewe and Port Vale in the previous seven days but Archer was adamant the hard work the squad got through over the summer break was precisely to prepare them for intense periods involving games in quick succession in a relentless League One season.

“The boys have been great, it had been a great last week,” he insisted. “On Thursday and Friday we prepared well and were full of confidence.

“We thought we were going to win but to concede two goals like that you can’t do that at home.

“We worked hard in pre-season. It was two long journeys and we got back late both times so you could say that was a factor, but we’re professional athletes. We’re paid to deal with these situations so I wouldn't use that as an excuse.”

Archer and his teammates face Rochdale on Saturday when they will be aiming for a first league win at home at the fifth attempt this season.

He revealed the players were bereft of reasons to explain their poor home form in the aftermath of Saturday’s defeat.

Archer said: “We were sitting in the changing room after it and we just couldn’t put our finger on it. We’ve been brilliant away from home but our home form has been very disappointing.

“We have been dominating games but we just can’t seem to find that final product in the final third and put the ball away.

“If you don’t score you’re always in danger of conceding and that’s been the case the last few games at home.

“The fans were a lot better, they always are great but I can understand their frustration. We dominated the game so there wasn’t a lot they could be frustrated about.

“The first 10, 20 minutes we were on top and you could hear the fans, they were right behind the boys but unfortunately we couldn’t get that goal and we were punished.”

The 22-year-old goalkeeper is now the firmly established number one at Millwall having enjoyed an unbroken run of six games between the sticks after his debut against Scunthorpe, but he is still craving to experience the atmosphere that he knows will follow a first home league win of the season.

“I had a longer run at Northampton, 17 or 18 games,” he explained. “I’m quite laid back, but it has been good to get a run in the team, it’s enabled me to find my feet.

“It would be nice to get a league win at home. You can hear the fans when we’re on top and I’m sure it will be a great, great occasion when that does happen. That’s what everyone is striving for on Saturday at home to Rochdale.

“I was here last season and it was a difficult season, but I’ve seen snippets and heard when fans have been at full voice, it is amazing.

“We’d like more of that but at the same time we’ve got to produce on the pitch.”

John Kelly