JACK Powell says there is “more to come” from him this season.
The 21-year-old midfielder made his first start this campaign against Chesterfield and earned Neil Harris’ praise for his work on the ball despite a 2-0 defeat.
Powell played for the U21s in Monday’s 3-1 defeat of Leeds and got the chance to showcase his organisational ability after a lack of available alternatives meant Justin Skinner was forced to put Jamie Philpot in midfield in the first half at The Den with John Marquis dropping back in the second period.
“Jamie usually plays up top,” Powell said. “It is hard because obviously he’s not used to it but you just have to try and talk him through it a little bit. I’m not known for screaming and shouting but just little bits of information go a long way to helping him get through the game.
“He did really well, he’s quite combative and he challenged for a lot of second balls, which complements me quite well.
“John’s a striker as well. It’s not easy playing in midfield with a striker but credit to them, they did quite well. John puts himself about and he kept it quite simple.”
Powell was pleased with his own performance in Millwall’s last league game, but feels one of the factors influencing the poor home form is the unfamiliarity with the different dimensions of the pitch this season.
He also believes the side need to show more patience when they don’t have the ball.
Powell explained: “I came in and played in a 4-3-3 against Chesterfield and thought I did okay, but I feel there’s a lot more to come from me.
“Obviously the pitch is bigger this year, some people think it’s only six metres but it makes a massive difference.
“It just means that the distances are bigger between the defenders and midfielders and likewise the centre forwards.
“It’s just about communication. It becomes a massive thing when you’re playing against teams with three in midfield.
“Growing up I played 4-3-3 a lot, so it’s kind of what I’m used to. You’ve still got 11 players on the pitch so you’ve just got to try and drop one of the centre-forwards in. A lot of teams do play with three in midfield, so you’ve got to be patient because sometimes they are going to dominate possession.
“There are plenty of ways to get the ball back. One of those is obviously tackling but you can also press well as a team and try to force the opposition to play a certain way to try and regain possession.
“It’s a different mentality in Europe and with European international teams. You’ve got to have (tacklers) in the team but I wouldn't necessarily say that’s my best attribute. I tend to think I’m a pretty good passer and quite clever off the ball in picking up good positions to get possession back.
“Teams come here and they have some joy with the ball, but we just have to be tight and compact and put away our chances, which we probably haven’t done this season.
“I think if you give 100 percent effort and take your chances you’ll more often than not come out on the right end of the result.”