Millwall stopper reveals extent of FA Cup heroics

MILLWALL goalkeeper Jordan Archer has revealed he picked up the injury that kept him out for six games just two minutes into the FA Cup win at Leicester City last month.

Archer made his return for the Lions in their incident-packed 3-3 draw at Rochdale on Tuesday night.

Former Tottenham goalkeeper Archer, 23, carried on in the fifth-round FA Cup clash against the Foxes that Millwall won in the last minute despite his movement being seriously impeded.

“I tore my quad in the second minute of the game, it was literally the first goal-kick that I felt it,” he said. “But I wasn’t going to come off.

“At the time I didn’t know the extent of the injury and as the game went on it got worse and worse. I went for the scan on the Monday and I had a tear in my thigh.

“It was a long four weeks, a lot of patience needed, it’s been tough to watch from the sidelines but I’m happy to be out there again.

“It goes without saying I’d love to have played in the Spurs game. But the league is the most important and the boys have been keeping clean sheets and winning games.”

Archer’s first game back was a pulsating contest, Millwall going 2-0 up, then 3-2 down before Jed Wallace scored a 78th-minute equaliser.

Archer said: “It’s not really one you want to come back into. It was a bit open, we weren’t our usual selves in the first half. We scored two goals and then the game became really stretched.

“Usually we tend to keep our shape and see out games. But it was end to end and it was whoever took their chances.

“It was disappointing to come in at 2-2 after dominating the first half apart from their two chances. But it was effectively going back to 0-0 so the gaffer told us to calm down and regroup.”

Archer made a crucial save to prevent Nathaniel Mendez-Laing making it 4-2 to Rochdale in the second half and Calvin Andrew couldn’t turn home the rebound.

“That’s my job, I’m there to make saves and I was happy to see the follow-up go past the post,” Archer said. “That’s the luck you get sometimes, but, saying that, we could have scored four or five goals in the second half.”

Archer is also now prepared to have to battle with Tom King for a first-team place.

He said: “Kingy was outstanding when he came in. It was his first taste of first-team football at this level and he kept a number of clean sheets. He’s enjoyed it and he’s going to be pushing me constantly because once you get a taste of first-team football you want more.

“It’s going to be good to have that competition.

“After having four weeks off you want to get that sharpness back, and I definitely got it there. This game had everything. I’m going to go back, recover and prepare for Saturday at Swindon.”

John Kelly

(@jkelly1882)

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