Millwall's Fred determined to fulfill potential

FRED Onyedinma revealed Millwall's coaching staff are encouraging him not to rest on his laurels as he becomes a regualr member of the first team.  

Onyedinma, 19, has started the last eight games for the Lions and contributed two goals, and was close to adding to that tally in Saturday's 2-1 win over Oxford.

The attacker was twice clear on the counter in the second half but was foiled by Joe Rothwell's last-ditch tackle and then when goalkeeper Simon Eastwood got down to save low to his right.

Onyedinma wants to get on the scoresheet more and up his assists total.

"(Neil Harris) just tells me to enjoy myself and keep the same standards that I have for the past few games," Onyedinma said. "Dave Livermore tells me not to settle for this, to keep improving and playing better.

"It's good advice from them and that's what I try to do.

"That's good for a young player as well, playing with confidence, because you can fulfil your potential and show what you can do. That's what I'm trying to do.

"As an attacker I want to get more goals and assists, that's the main thing, really. There are little details like movement to get me into those positions and that will be the next step.

"The only thing I was disappointed with was not scoring, but the most important thing was the win and they're a good team as well."

Millwall fell behind at Oxford when Liam Sercombe scored for the home side in the 31st minute, but Steve Morison levelled five minutes later with a superb volley from outside the area.

Asked what he thought of the goal Onyedinma said: "Oh my God, I just put my hands to my head. When it left his boot I knew and everyone knew it was going in, and he was already running away.

"He's tried it a few times this season. That's him, he'll never stop that and it'll come off and won't come off but luckily it did (Saturday). It was a great goal.

"It was important, once they scored, and with the atmosphere as well, it was important to stay strong as a team and that goal really helped us."

Millwall have a break in League One action this week when Southend visit The Den on Friday night in the first round of the FA Cup.

Onyedinma's memories of playing the Shrimpers are bittersweet. He made his debut for Millwall in a 4-1 third-round defeat to then-League Two Southend in 2014, and he also says there will be as much motivation to make up for the 3-1 defeat at Roots Hall earlier in the season as the prospect of a plum draw later in the competition.

"You never know who you could get next," Onyedinma said. "The fact that it's Southend as well is important because they're the ones that started off our bad run. They beat us there and we didn't play to the best of our abilities. Hopefully we get a result and it's a little payback."

Image source: ©Millwall FC

John Kelly