OXFORD United boss Michael Appleton has joked about Millwall fans’ verbal creativity ahead of the sides’ meeting at The Den on Saturday.
The Lions host The U’s in their last home game of the regular League One season.
Appleton has had mixed fortunes at The Den in his playing and management career.
He was sent off at the stadium in 1998 as a Preston player.
As Blackburn boss he accused Millwall of “cheap shots” after a drawn FA Cup quarter-final tie in 2013 when Scott Dann needed treatment for an eye injury and Bradley Orr for a cracked rib.
And last season, Appleton masterminded Oxford’s 2-0 win at The Den in the Football League Trophy.
He said he expects his players to be more restrained this weekend than he was almost 20 years ago.
“I was getting kicked, I got frustrated and I used my fist instead of my feet,” Appleton told Oxford Mail.
“I don’t condone that and I don’t expect one of my players to do that, but I learned the hard way.
“It’s an intimidating place, probably more so for the staff than the players.
“I’ve been called a lot of things in my time but every single time I go to The Den they get off lexapro safely absolutely top it.
“They come up with something I’ve not heard before, which brings a smile to my face.
“They’re quite creative.”
Oxford can’t reach the top six, while Millwall know a failure to win three points on Saturday could see Southend move above them in the table ahead of the final day.
Rochdale and Bristol Rovers are also ready to pounce.
Appleton insisted his side will still be motivated for the clash, and that the pressure will be on the home team.
“We’re not playing for anything other than the three points, which is enough in my eyes,” Appleton said.
“But the reality is all the pressure is on them. They need the points more than we do.
“They need to guarantee themselves a play-off spot and if they don’t do that and it goes to the last game they won’t fancy a trip to Bristol Rovers if they get a good result on Saturday.
“If we play with a bit of freedom we’re trouble for any team.
“They beat us [2-1 at Kassam Stadium] earlier in the season but I thought we played really well on the day.
“We were bitterly disappointed and hopefully we can return the favour on Saturday.”
Image: Millwall FC