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Millwall's Craig was calm after Pirates equaliser

TONY Craig admitted the Millwall side “went through every single emotion possible” in their 4-3 win over Bristol Rovers on the final day of the League One season on Sunday.

Craig got his first goal of the season as the Lions went 2-0 and then 3-1 up before they threw away the lead, giving Southend the chance to finish sixth after their 1-0 win over Bury.

Despite a number of the players suffering from illness, they managed to rally after Rovers’ second-half dominance, and Shaun Hutchinson headed in Shane Ferguson’s 85th-minute corner to seal the win that took them back into the last play-off place.

“It was a rollercoaster of a day, we went through every single emotion possible,” Craig said. “When the fourth went in it was a great occasion and you could see by the celebrations what it meant to the boys.

“A few of the boys went down from a little bug [Saturday night]. You’ve got to prepare yourself and get on with it and the boys that came in did a fantastic job.

“There were a few boys struggling but we weren’t going to use that as an excuse. The gaffer has a great squad here and whenever people are needed and called upon they can do the job.

“A few of the boys were stuck in their rooms all night and didn’t have a pleasant night. Thankfully I wasn’t with any of the boys who were sick, so I had a good sleep!”

Millwall appeared to have blown their promotion chances after Rovers, aided by a strong breeze, piled on the pressure in the second half and made it 3-3 in the 74th minute through Billy Bodin’s free-kick.

"For me it was a weird moment,” Craig said. “We knew what was at stake, we knew we had to win.

“I was calm, and, to be honest, I think it made us play. We had a good few chances after that. It was a fantastic header, Hutch does that very well. He’s had a few cleared off the line and thankfully when it counted it went in.

“Shane Ferguson’s deliveries were second to none and have been all season.

“The wind was unbelievable, the second half we just couldn’t get out. Credit to Bristol Rovers, they are very, very good side with a great home record for the season. We knew that and certainly knew in the second half they were going to come at us.

“It just shows what a tremendous squad we have, we’re all in it together and it shows that we can dig in deep.

“We’ve got strength in depth and togetherness and I’m so pleased for the boys that came in, they gave a good account of themselves. We’re a squad on and off the pitch. We’ll enjoy this moment but we know what’s at stake on Thursday.”

Millwall face Scunthorpe at The Den in the first leg of that play-off semi-final, and Craig isn’t worried about having to travel to Glanford Park for the second leg the following Sunday.

“I don’t think it matters either way,” he said. “We know we’ll have a packed Den. They’re a very, very strong side and have some dangerous players.

“We’ll look at their strengths and weaknesses and will have a gameplan come Thursday.

“Whoever you get is going to be a great side. They’ve had a great season. We played them not so long ago and it’s got the ingredients to be a good two-legged tie.

“We just have to be prepared. We’re looking forward to it.”

Image: Millwall FC 

John Kelly

(@jkelly1882)

8 thoughts on “Millwall's Craig was calm after Pirates equaliser

  • May 2, 2017 at 09:36
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    Quite a few people slated Craig last week saying he's NH mate and shouldn't be in the side, yet he goes out Sunday scores a goal and kicks one off the line also gets in the team of the weekend, so come on let's get behind our players and knot give them stick., good luck boys for Thursday, you can do it. COYL

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    • May 2, 2017 at 10:04
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      @Billy boy: By Harris's own admission his perfomances have been indifferent this season. Truth of the matter is he only plays because he is the captain. A job which should be in the very capable hands of Morison.

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    • May 2, 2017 at 16:25
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      @Billy boy: Fair point Billy boy. But suppose the linesman had flagged his goal, as offside as he should have done. Then we would all be saying it was going in any way from Morro, and he has caused it to be disallowed, then calling him all the names under the sun, along with Harris for playing him. Oh! its great being a Millwall supporter isn't it.

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  • May 2, 2017 at 10:39
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    COYL we are all behind u lets do this millwall NOLU WDC WAM SM WAMFTD MILLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL

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  • May 2, 2017 at 11:46
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    @Nickola. Yes Harris did say Craig has had an "indifferent season" but to be fair pretty much all our players have especially down that left side,a lot don't rate Martin,a lot don't rate Ferguson, I hear em slagging of o'brien. For me Craig has been ok most of the time and very good on occasions and a very good crosser when he gets down into their half. Having said that yeah I'd love to see a young , rapid left back with plenty of quality but we've got one like that on the other side(Romeo)a good player but not without his faults. I don't rate Craig at centre half but until we get a better left back in the club it's Craig all day for me. Who would you put in there Nick?

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    • May 2, 2017 at 13:00
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      @Bordersarebest0170: The only option for me is Ferguson who is a quality player. It's a waste of his talent to put him at left back as left midfield is his proper position. Agree about Romeo and I do not rate Craig as a centre half either. If we go up this year I reckon we need 4 new players to fill or supplement the left back, midfield and striker positions. That's assuming that Wallace and Cooper sign up. If we are a league one team in August then I don't see a lot of acivity in the transfer market coming in, Sadly, Gregory will go and no doubt Romeo and Fred will be off as well.

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    • May 2, 2017 at 14:26
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      @Bordersarebest0170: I agree with both of you about Craig but I think one of the problems is that when O'Brien plays out wide on the left he doesn't track back to provide any defensive cover for Craig. My answer would be to play a 3-5-2 formation with Romeo and Ferguson as the wing-backs and leave Craig out altogether. This would make best use of Ferguson's crossing ability and still have a left sided centre back to cover for him when he moves forward.

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  • May 2, 2017 at 18:44
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    Yeah,that's been a real mystery to me why Harris has never tried Romeo as right sided midfielder with Cummings who is a good defender in behind him, Romeo looks made for the job

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