SCUNTHORPE United handed Millwall their second successive league defeat last Saturday, as the table-toppers beat Neil Harris' Lions 3-0.
This Wednesday, local rivals Charlton Athletic are the opponents for a Christmas cracker at The Den. Editor of The Voice of the Valley Rick Everitt provides this derby edition of The View From The Opposition.
Name: Rick Everitt
What made you support Charlton?: My dad took me when I was six in 1969. Typically, Charlton had just had their best season in years, narrowly missing out on promotion to the First Division and would be then poor the next five years, slipping into the Third Division in 1972.
I didn’t know any better, though, so I was happy with it. My mother’s father was a Millwall supporter off the Downham Estate and drove a 124 bus out of Catford garage, but he also went to Charlton and took my mother there after the war, but not to The Den. So, both my parents were Charlton fans and it was meant to be. We don’t talk about Grandad in our family, obviously!
It's fair to say that times are testing at The Valley at the moment – as briefly as is possible, just what is going on in SE7 and what is your/the fans feeling towards it all?: Utter madness. Most fans agree with the protests, but even among those who don’t, there is very little support for the owner Roland Duchatelet, currently on his eighth manager in under three years.
There is big tranche of the support – 4,000 season-ticket holders – who have just walked away – at least until he is gone – although the damage he has done to the club may turn out to be more far-reaching than that implies. There's been a huge turnover of players since 2014. We’ve now moved on from the European imports who couldn’t hack it in England and have a very British squad, but it is wildly unbalanced, hence Russell Slade’s early exit.
I actually think new boss Karl Robinson might do okay, but it’s impossible have any confidence in the people running the club keeping faith with him during any run of bad results – and so far he hasn’t really had any good ones.
On the field, The Addicks and Millwall are sharing similar seasons, sitting in mid-table. How do you view both sides' chances of reaching the top six this season?: Mainly because the general standard of most of the teams is so poor, anything is still possible. With a new manager and Ademola Lookman likely to be sold to Everton or another Premier League club in January, there are bound to be yet more changes to the squad at The Valley – and they are needed.
I’m surprised Millwall have been so erratic, too. But, if you lose either of the two matches against Charlton, you might as well give up for the season – you’ll know how unusual that is.
Which Millwall players do you feel Charlton will need to pay special attention to on Wednesday night? Likewise, which Addicks should we be watching out for?: Anybody in central midfield will cause Charlton a problem, because there’s a big hole in our squad in that area. We really lack a decent creative player there to move the ball forward. By contrast, we have enough decent centre-halves for two teams. Injured Ricky Holmes is a big miss for us. I like Josh Magennis a lot up front, but he needs a supply line. Lookman, who has usually been played wide, is going to be a great player, but in his head he may have left already.
Finally, how do you think this derby game will go – a score prediction?: The history tells the story, but there have been exceptions. The line that Charlton haven’t beaten Millwall for 20 years is bit disingenuous, because the teams didn’t meet for 13 of them. But, there’s no hiding the overall record is an embarrassment. Robinson likes to attack, but Charlton have scored one goal in his four matches. It really depends which side turns up on the night, as Charlton were rank on Saturday, but the most likely outcome is probably a goalless draw. Millwall 0-0 Charlton Athletic.