MILLWALL captain Tony Craig is looking forward to a “good test” when Premier League AFC Bournemouth visit The Den this Saturday in the third round of the FA Cup.
Millwall are long-odds to progress against a side that were 3-0 up against Arsenal on Tuesday night before drawing 3-3, a result that leaves the Cherries in ninth place in the Premier League.
The Lions last knocked a top-flight team out of the competition in January 2013 when John Marquis struck a late winner in a 2-1 victory over Aston Villa.
Craig was with Millwall when they reached the final of the competition in 2004, but they are faced with a daunting hurdle this weekend to reach the fourth round.
“It’s a Premier League side with players who are doing very well this season,” Craig said. “They’ve got a great manager in Eddie Howe and they certainly know how to play football, they keep it on the floor.
“It’ll be a good test for us. It’s a game we can go and enjoy but we want to give a good account of ourselves at the same time. We’ll be getting in their faces.
“I was in the squad when we got to the FA Cup final, that will live long in the memory.”
Millwall will be hoping to pull off an upset against Saturday’s opponents before focus returns to League One and a second clash in three weeks with south London rivals Charlton next Wednesday.
It was at this time the last two seasons Millwall reached a play-off final (2010 and 2016) that their form picked up and they surged into the top six.
Millwall have gone from 14th place in the table to ninth and just two points off the top six with three wins and a draw in their last four games, and Craig can’t quite put his finger on why it takes them so long to get going.
“If I knew that I’d be a rich man,” he said. “It just always seems at this club we’re slow starters. It always seems that we have to catch up, and we didn’t have the best of starts again this season.
“If anybody has the remedy for us to start quickly then pass it on. It just seems that when this club is successful it’s after having a poor start.”
Image: Millwall FC