MILLWALL players are taking the plunge to give themselves the best possible chance of reaching the League One play-off final.
The Lions drew 0-0 with Scunthorpe at The Den on Thursday night and have it all to do to reach the Wembley decider on May 20.
They have less than 72 hours to prepare for the second leg at Glanford Park on Sunday evening. The club uses cryotherapy – common for elite sports clubs and athletes – where chambers with temperatures as low as -120C help speed up recovery.
Millwall skipper Tony Craig explained the lengths they go to in order to ensure they are in peak physical condition as he looked forward to the return leg.
“We had a cryo-chamber the other day,” he said. “It’s not pretty, it was an experience. But I think you saw we looked fit and ready. As a team we have to play at high intensity, in their faces, and start very sharply like we did [Thursday].”
Millwall were rarely threatened by a defensive Scunthorpe side in a scrappy game of few scoring opportunities.
But Craig was taking the positives from the game.
“As a defender you want to keep as many clean sheets as possible,” Craig said. “I think they had one or two chances but as a defensive unit we were very pleased with our performance.
“It’s very evenly poised. Obviously we tried to take a result with us to their place but it didn’t happen. The main focus is now to recover and prepare for Sunday because it’s such a short turnaround.
“We know what’s coming. They know our strengths and we know their weaknesses. It’s a great game to look forward to.
“They’re the home team and will have their fans backing them.
“We know they’re a very, very dangerous side. If you give them an inch they’ll punish you. They did a job on us [in a 3-0 loss for the Lions in December] but this is a very different game.”
Millwall need to score at Scunthorpe for the first time in three games under Harris if they are to go through without needing extra-time or penalties.
Craig believes their experience on the last day of the season, when Shaun Hutchinson scored in the 85th minute to seal sixth spot, will benefit them on Sunday evening.
“The Bristol Rovers game was a dream for us,” he said. “It was [like a] cup tie. It was an emotional rollercoaster but showed the togetherness we have in the squad.
“It’s the same situation, we know we can go and win at any football ground.”
Image: Millwall FC