SHAUN Hutchinson recognises he faces a battle to win his place in the Millwall side.
Hutchinson made just his second appearance of the season when he came on as a late substitute against Fleetwood last weekend.
Millwall’s 2-1 win was their third in their last four games and they are showing signs that they have recovered from the poor run in September that saw them plummet to just outside the relegation zone.
Hutchinson has had a frustrating start to his Millwall career, with three injury setbacks delaying his full competitive debut.
Byron Webster and Tony Craig have been Neil Harris’ regular central defensive pairing, but Hutchinson has worked on his fitness to ensure he is fully prepared to make an impression when he gets his chance.
“I’m going to keep working hard but with the team winning three out of the last four there’s not really much you can do to get into the team,” Hutchinson said.
“But hopefully once the time comes and the gaffer gives me a chance I’m as ready as I can be to play my part and do what I can for the club.”
Hutchinson has featured in each of the last three games for Millwall’s U23s side. He played 90 minutes for Justin Skinner’s side on Monday in their 5-1 win at QPR, the first time he has completed a full competitive fixture since his former club Fulham defeated Bolton 1-0 on May 7.
And he believes that has been ideal groundwork as he settles at the club.
Hutchinson said: “It does give you a bit of confidence when you’ve played three games and won three games. We’ve had two clean sheets as well, all these things build confidence and help you.
“There is the same mindset in the U23s as the first team and they play the same way. I think that’s the right thing to do because if these boys get the chance they want to know what they’re getting themselves into and what to do in the first team.
“That’s the style of play the gaffer wants here.”
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