Millwall's O'Brien happy to finally penetrate "force field"

© Millwall FC
© Millwall FC

MILLWALL’S Aiden O’Brien was pleased to be back on the scoresheet at Southend – and admitted it felt as if there was a “force field” protecting the opponent's goal lately. 

O’Brien scored Millwall’s fourth goal – and his 10th of the season – at Roots hall on Monday having gone eight games without finding the back of the net.

The Irish striker scored his previous nine goals in 14 games between September and November.

The 22-year-old has been out of luck recently, seeing an apparently legitimate strike at Burton ruled out after a harsh handball call, and then smacking a header off the crossbar in the second half of the 1-0 defeat to Walsall on Saturday.

O’Brien has started the last two games up front alongside captain Steve Morison, and he finally got his reward for his hard work when he raced onto his strike partner’s precise through ball in the 70th minute to finish across goalkeeper Daniel Bentley before covering defender Adam Barrett had the chance to get a block in.

“I was just waiting patiently, it’s been a little drought for me,” O’Brien admitted. “They were flying in left, right and centre before but for some reason there was some kind of force field around the opposition’s goal recently.

“So I had to be patient to break that force field. In the Southend game I saw that Adam Barrett was showing me a bit of space and I thought, you know what, let me run into that and just get a shot off. I managed to do that and luckily it trickled in.

“As a striker you can’t start panicking and wondering what someone else is going to do rather than worrying about your own game, what you’re going to do, how you’re going to finish. It’s more about not worrying about him – it’s about me, and that’s what I do.

“If I’m going to shoot and score I need to think about what I’m going to do and how I’m going to do it all in one split-second, so I don’t have time to consider anything else. It’s instinctive to just go and do it and not worry about any defenders.

“So that’s what I did and I managed to trickle the ball past Bentley.”

With joint-top scorer Lee Gregory struggling with a hamstring problem, O’Brien could continue his partnership up front with Morison against Barnsley at Oakwell on Saturday.

And he conceded that Monday’s win at Southend was a timely boost for Neil Harris’ squad.

“It takes a lot of pressure off our shoulders as a group,” O’Brien said. “It’s a massive win for us. We’ve done a job on a good team away from home. We’re all delighted and we’re going to kick on from here hopefully.”

John Kelly