JORDAN Archer was refusing to take all the plaudits for a third consecutive clean sheet after the 1-0 win over Rochdale on Saturday, highlighting the contribution of two of his younger colleagues to Millwall’s recent defensive resilience.
It was the 12th of the season for Archer, 22, and helped Millwall extend their unbeaten league run to six.
The former Tottenham man was tested early against Rochdale, getting a hand on Callum Camps’ cross and then watching as Mahlon Romeo, 20, tidied up to clear the ball away from danger.
Sid Nelson and Byron Webster were also in dominant form to restrict Rochdale to a couple of efforts from outside the box after the break as Millwall won their fifth consecutive game on the road this year.
“The back four and the rest of the team have been outstanding, so I can’t take all the credit, a lot of it has to go to them as well,” Archer said.
“Sid and Mahlon have come in and been absolutely first class, Webbie has helped marshal then through it as well. But they’re more than capable even at their age of playing the way they have. I’ve got nothing but praise for them the way they’ve come in and played.”
Archer had to be fully concentrated at the end of the first half to keep the game scoreless when after a succession of Millwall corners and with the clock showing 75 seconds past the allotted three minutes added time, Rochdale broke with Ian Henderson getting a shot away at the near post.
“That was a funny one,” he said. “I’ve seen it loads of times before in football where you’ve got heaps of pressure on the opposition goal and all of a sudden they’re down at your end. But that’s what I’m paid to do. I’m happy to keep the ball out of the back of the net and contribute to the win.
“It’s easy to switch off when there’s something like five or six corners, but you’ve always got to be aware of things like that. That’s something that I’m improving on and that comes with experience and with game time.”
The win over Keith Hill’s side was the Lions’ ninth on the road in League One this season, which only Burton and Walsall have matched, and Archer explained a combination of their meticulous preparation and the support they get from fans, more than 800 of whom made the trip to Rochdale, is the reason for that impressive return.
Archer said: “We’ve got a great bunch of lads. Training is sharp and intense and the gaffer, coaches and Kevin Pressman have got to take credit for that. That sharpness in training carries into Saturdays and we’ve been performing well.
“We’ve been fantastic away from home and have to carry on these performances at home. I’m sure the fans will come out and support us and it’s just about making The Den a fortress, which it has been.
“I’ve got to give credit to the fans. There have been some long away journeys this season and they’ve always come out in their numbers.
“I think in most games they’ve always out-sang the home fans and I have to give them credit for that, it does help.”