Millwall's Onyedinma: I don't take things too seriously

© Millwall FC
© Millwall FC

FRED Onyedinma will continue to combine a laidback attitude with his natural work ethic as he establishes himself in the Millwall first team.

The 19-year-old was one of the Lions’ standout players in the 4-0 win over Southend on Monday, scoring once and playing a part in goals for Joe Martin and Shaun Cummings.

Onyedinma made his Millwall debut against Southend when he was just 17 in a 4-1 defeat in the FA Cup first round in January 2014.

He was one of the club's best performers in August and September and scored Millwall’s first two league goals at The Den this season in the 3-2 defeat against this weekend’s opponents Barnsley.

Arguably one of Onyedinma’s most impressive displays this campaign was the one against Sheffield Untied when he was pressed into some urgent defensive work as Millwall ground out a 2-1 win at Bramall Lane.

He started Millwall’s first 11 fixtures of the season but has faced sterner competition in the last two months with Aiden O’Brien, Shane Ferguson and Ed Upson also battling for places in the wide areas.

And Onyedinma is focused on developing both the defensive and attacking aspects of his game as Millwall aim to keep up the challenge for a top-six spot heading into 2016.

“The more games you play the more you think about which decision is the best to make,” he said. “As a forward you should obviously think about your defensive responsibilities but you’re there to win the game for your team as well.

“Sometimes you could cheat (and rest) and it could benefit you but you’ve got to think about your role defensively.

“The way I am, I don’t take things too seriously so I think that helps me. If I lose the ball then the next time I’m not going to lose it, I’m always confident and try to do things. If it works, it works and for a defender if they think, ‘He’s still going’ they start getting annoyed and panicky.”

Onyedinma also explained the targets he sets for himself before each contest and the benefit of experience he is quickly accumulating having started 28 games already this season.

“As a winger you should try and aim for at least five to seven crosses a game,” he said.

“Sometimes people expect you to be every time at 100 per cent. Obviously some days it’s not going to happen. For me, even if it doesn’t go my way I’m still trying to work hard and do my bit for the team.

“It’s experience, you just have to know when to make the right run with the right timing. When you make a run at a certain time it could be a crucial one and you could score from that. So you just have to time it, really.”

John Kelly