Abdou wants new chapter in Millwall story

JIMMY Abdou says that Millwall will “start a new book” this season, as they look to banish the demons of May's play-off final defeat to Barnsley.

The Lions enjoyed a successful campaign last year after relegation from the Sky Bet Championship, but fell foul of the Tykes in the League One play-off final at Wembley Stadium, losing 3-1.

However, Abdou, about to embark on his eighth season at The Den, insisted the defeat has been mentally consigned to the past and that the club should be looking forward.

Abdou said: “Last season and Wembley has gone now. It was a big disappointment, but we are professional, we are looking forward to new games and new wins.

“We're just looking forward now. It's a new start, a new season. We have some new lads coming in trying to help us. We're looking forward to doing the same as last season, and hopefully it'll all go well.

“It's time to start a new book, start a new story. What we did last season, we did well. We now have to use that this season to help us to do the same or even better.”

Along with the likes of David Forde and Tony Craig, the midfielder has been in this situation before – the Lions lost the League One play-off final to Scunthorpe United in 2009, but returned to Wembley the following year to atone for the defeat, this time against Swindon Town.

Abdou claimed that despite the club being in a similar situation, there aren't many like-for-like comparisons between the squads.

“There are different players, different qualities,” Abdou said. “I was one of the youngest in previous times, but now I'm one of the oldest. We have some good young players that came through last year, and hopefully there'll be more this coming season.

“I'm happy with talking to everyone, so the young players can come to me for advice. I ask some of the other senior players for advice, too. We all have a good relationship, that'll help us this season.”

At the age of 32, some would be forgiven for thinking that the Den stalwart is entering the twilight of his career. However, Abdou revealed that he plans to continue playing for the moment, but has thought about a future after that career ends.

“I'm 32 now. I'm going to try and start my badges this year. I'd like to help others. At the minute, though, I'm focussed on my football. We'll see what the future holds”

And asked if he could be a future Lions boss, Abdou said: “Millwall manager, why not?! It's not my plan at the minute, but you never know in football. It's too far away to think about."

Image source ©Millwall FC

Mark Litchfield