Millwall's Beevers: One armband, but we need 11 captains

© Millwall FC
© Millwall FC

MARK Beevers would be happy to take the skipper’s armband at Millwall – but insists it’s more important every player acts like a captain on the pitch.

Beevers, who was voted NewsAtDen’s player of the month for October after a string of commanding performances, could be handed the responsibility of leading the side out this weekend against AFC Fylde.

Manager Neil Harris didn’t name a vice-captain during the summer after he chose Tony Craig as this season’s captain, and there are other senior figures such as Steve Morison and Shaun Williams who would also relish the role.

But Beevers believes it’s crucial there are leaders in every area of the pitch.

“I’ve played over 200 league games now so I should be in a position to take on that kind of responsibility,” he said. “And I’m ready for it.”

“That’s not to say I’m going to be the captain this week or anything like that. Obviously anyone would like to wear the armband but, in my opinion, you get one player wearing the armband but there should be 11 captains on the pitch.

“You should really command your position and talk to the players around you to tell them what they need to do to help you, and vice-versa. If you get that then you’ll have a successful team.”

Beevers began the season at left-back but but was left out of the squad for the 3-2 defeat to Barnsley in August.

He was then linked with a move back north but had clear-the-air talks with Harris to resolve his future. The manager moved him to centre-back for the league game with Chesterfield and since that 2-0 defeat Millwall have lost just two of their last 13 in all competitions.

The former Sheffield Wednesday defender had recently formed a solid centre-back partnership with Craig, but could be joined by either Byron Webster or Sid Nelson against Fylde.

Beevers has been the one constant in the centre of defence since that Chesterfield reverse, but he has faith in both of Craig’s potential replacements.

“I’ve played with Webs a few times and I think we complement each other really well,” he said. “Whoever’s come into the team at centre-half has done a really good job. Sid came in for a few games before he got injured and did well.

“Webs has got bags of experience and is a good player. In that position I don’t think we’re short on experience or ability.

“Sid told me that I’m a calming influence, so that’s nice to hear! I’m vocal enough on the pitch, I can tell the players around me what they need to do and what I want them to do, and I listen to them as well.”

Craig’s words of encouragement before Saturday’s game will be missed, and Beevers gave an amusing insight into what happens in Millwall’s famous pre-match huddles.

He explained: “It’s always the captain that has a scream-up before the game. It’s all TC in the huddle. Sometimes it goes smoothly, sometimes it doesn’t.

“I remember in one game it broke down, it might have been Port Vale away. He started off on this little rant and then halfway through forgot what he was going to say. It broke down so he said ‘eff it, let’s just get on with it’.

“I don’t know if he thinks about what he’s going to say, it doesn’t seem like it! He just seems to stick his head in there and say a few words and away we go.

“But it’s certainly worked the last few weeks and it’s something Millwall have always done so we’ll stick with it.”

John Kelly