STEVE Lomas has challenged Millwall to be "mentally strong" away from home after rediscovering their resolve at The Den.
The Lions ground out a point against QPR last weekend but Lomas says it is imperative his players now start to show the same fighting spirt and determination on their travels.
Millwall were beaten heavily in their previous two away outings – 4-0 at Birmingham and 5-2 at Bournemouth – and they face another tough test at promotion-contenders Reading on Saturday.
Lomas said: "This game will definitely be an examination of the lads' character. For me the challenge the lads have got now is this: they can do it at home with a fantastic crowd behind them, but can they go away against a really tough team and get a result?
"If we do concede, we have to keep it at 1-0 and hang in the game for as long as we can. We did that against QPR and were rewarded. Staying resolute during bad spells is absolutely vital in the Championship because games ebb and flow so quickly.
"If you get beat 1-0 or 2-1, you can at least say you were always in the game. Showing that resolve, and keeping 11 men on the pitch at all times, are the two issues that have hurt us this season and coincided with those two heavy losses.
"The Birmingham game was worse than Bournemouth for me. We looked like a team that was tired, lacking energy and enthusiasm – it was like the Lord Mayor's Show after the Leeds game. We didn't turn up on that night and we can't afford to do that ever again.
"We have to be mentally strong away from home. Hopefully we will have a decent following on Saturday but we have to start performing when we don't have that fantastic, partisan Millwall support behind us."
Lomas has confirmed he is still looking to strengthen his squad after allowing wingers James Henry and Liam Feeney to go out on loan, although the latter looks certain to be recalled from Bolton.
The Lions have enquired about Wigan wideman Noah Dicko, who Lomas tried to sign when he was in charge at St Johnstone, but a deal is not imminent.
"We either have to bring Liam back or get one in," Lomas said. "I want to make sure it's the right one we bring in but there's a dearth of right-siders with pace."