DEPARTING Millwall assistant Marc Bircham believes Lions fans have a huge role to play in the club's battle against relegation.
And Bircham reckons those on the terraces at The Den might not realise just how vital their support has been recently – and the impact it could have during the final 18 games.
The 36-year-old is leaving Ian Holloway's coaching staff to take up a position with Chicago Fire in the MLS, where he'll be working under his former Canada boss Frank Yallop.
Bircham's parting message to the fans is to continue backing Holloway's new-look team.
He said: "The fans have been magnificent. I've played for Millwall and the fans can be over-critical at times but I don't think that's been the case recently.
"There've been times when they've had a moan – but I was moaning when we lost 6-1 to Norwich and 4-0 to Bradford.
"There have been results which they've had every reason to be up in arms about.
"But there have been a lot of games which haven't gone our way when they've stuck with us – especially the Ipswich one.
"We were 2-0 down after 15 minutes but the fans could see that the lads were trying.
"I told the players at half time, 'the fans are with you until the end today, I've played here before and they won't turn on you'. That was excellent from the crowd.
"I don't think the fans realise how important that is to the players. At 0-0 against Forest, they were right behind us and you could even sense that before the game.
"Some of the new lads don't know about Millwall and maybe they'd hearc bad things about the fans, so the support they've had has been a big boost for the dressing room."