Craig patient as he builds towards Millwall first-team return

© Millwall FC
© Millwall FC

TONY Craig isn’t putting himself under any pressure to make a quick return to Millwall’s first team after playing for 45 minutes for the U21s on Tuesday.

Craig came through the first half of the 1-0 win over Bristol City and will continue to build up his match sharpness with the Elite Development Squad after almost five months out with a knee injury.

The 30-year-old defender admitted to being nervous before his return to competitive action and, though he is expected to come into contention for a first-team place in April, he admitted when that happens it will be a “bonus” after it was originally thought he could miss the entire season.

“I only got the all clear last Thursday and started full training on Friday so to play 45 minutes and get through it was very pleasing,” Craig said.

“There’s naturally going to be some nerves. It was a serious injury, my last game was a long time ago. But you have to forget about that and put your body on the line.”

“At the moment my plan is just to get fit and hopefully the knee will be in good shape. Everything else this season is a bonus.

“We haven’t really set any targets, we’re taking it day by day and game by game. I need match sharpness.

“Obviously there are seven games to go in the League One season, but my priority is to work on my sharpness and take it from there.”

John Kelly