Butcher wants to be Millwall's box-to-box boss

CALUM Butcher says one of the reasons he joined Millwall was for the chance to re-establish himself as the "box-to-box" midfielder he feels is his best role.

Butcher played 39 times in Burton's midfield in League One last season to help the Brewers to the second tier of English football for the first time in their history.

But after achieving promotion to the Championship Burton boss Nigel Clough redefined his role and that, along with his personal circumstances, helped him make his mind up about moving back to the south of England.

"That was my main reason for going to speak to him," Butcher explained. "As well as the fact that my missus is having another baby so moving down south was a priority of mine.

"He wanted to play me as a false nine and I don't see it as my position. Maybe off a striker and running into the box, but not having to hold the ball up, that's not my game. I also like to get around the pitch as much as possible so it took a little bit off me (playing as a forward). That was one of my main reasons, wanting to play as a box-to-box midfielder."

Butcher joined Millwall last month and has featured twice for Neil Harris' side off the bench, at Chesterfield and then in the 1-1 draw with Coventry last weekend when he had a couple of half-chances late on to open his goal-scoring account for his new club.

"It was good to come on and make my home debut," he said. "I had a few chances to put one away and I was disappointed not to do that or at least get one on target. I was probably a bit too precise and trying to do too much, but it'll come for me.

"It was good to get out in front of the home fans and experience the atmosphere. It was disappointing not to get the win but coming back from a goal down we'll take the positives."

Butcher experienced playing in front of an intimidating Den crowd last season when Millwall beat Burton 2-0. He knows the influence they can have and is looking forward to receiving their backing. "Obviously you want the support from the fans and from what I've seen so far they've been great.

"The atmospheres have been brilliant when I've seen them. As long as you're doing your best that's all you can do."

Image source: ©Charlie Compitus

John Kelly