Millwall's Beevers: It's "massive incentive" to play at Wembley

© Millwall FC
© Millwall FC

MILLWALL'S Mark Beevers is looking forward to the first ever final of his career.

The Lions will play Oxford United at The Den in the first leg of the Johnstone's Paint Trophy southern section final the week commencing January 11 before travelling to the Kassam Stadium for the second leg in February.

Beevers returned to the side on Tuesday night after a one-game ban as goals from Steve Morison and Shaun Williams against Southend sent Millwall through to face League Two opponents for the fifth time in cup competitions this season.

"I haven't been in a final before, this will be my first one. I've been in the semi-final of the FA Cup against Wigan," Beevers said.

"Obviously the fans want us to go all the way, we understand that. When you've got this far in the competition it's a massive incentive to play at Wembley. We want to do that, we're just two games away now so hopefully we can pull through those games and we're there and we'll enjoy the day."

Beevers was part of a back four under pressure in the opening 20 minutes of the 2-0 win at Roots Hall on Tuesday night and said he felt the effects afterwards of a fast-paced contest.

And he also felt front pair Morison and Lee Gregory were crucial to the win.

"I was tired, but it was a good win," he said, before joking: "I've only had a week off! It was a tough game, it was a heavy pitch. We had a to dig in at times and we defended well from back to front. I thought the two lads up top were really good (Tuesday), they held it up really well.

"If they can hold it up it helps us to get up the pitch and it almost gives the back eight or six a little bit of a breather. So it was good throughout the team.

"Southend away is a tight ground, the fans are almost sat on top of you. We expected a fast start from them but we weathered the storm.

"I felt after that first 10 or 15 minutes we grew into the game and we managed to get the goal. I think we had a few more chances as well that we could have put away.

"We restricted them to chances from outside the box. We know they've got ability shooting but Jordan (Archer) pulled off a couple of saves and thankfully we're through to the area final."

The winners of that southern section final will face either Fleetwood or Barnsley in the overall decider at Wembley in April.

John Kelly