Millwall's Fred has mind made up on his future

FRED Onyedinma has made a decision on his future, he revealed after Saturday’s League One play-off final win over Bradford.

Onyedinma is out of contract in the summer, and the club so far haven’t been able to convince him to sign a new deal, with his manager Neil Harris expressing his frustration about negotiations with the 20-year-old’s representatives.

Onyedinma came on in the 89th minute of the 1-0 win over the Bantams, playing an important role as the Lions wound down the clock to seal promotion to the Championship.

He was later asked about his future and responded: “I can’t say anything. I can’t.”

Pressed if Millwall winning promotion could influence his decision, he again refused to give much away, before intriguingly confirming he has already made up his mind: “I can’t say. I can’t really say anything, but I’ve made a decision. That’s all I can say. We’ll have to see the next month. I’m just happy now to celebrate with the team, because it’s been a team effort.”

Onyedinma has been linked with moves to London rivals – and now Millwall’s Championship rivals next season – Fulham and QPR, after catching the eye with swashbuckling performances as Millwall defeated three Premier League teams to reach the last eight of the FA Cup.

Saturday’s appearance at Wembley was Onyedinma’s 54th game this season, but he lost his place in the side towards the end of the season as Harris preferred Jed Wallace on the right side of midfield.

But he played a key late role against Stuart McCall’s side, giving Millwall an outlet as they protected the lead given to them in the 85th minute by Steve Morison.

Onyedinma gave away a foul after taking the ball into the corner in Bradford’s half, before drawing a foul on another break to relieve the pressure as Millwall hung on during five minutes of injury-time.

“Words can’t describe it really,” Onyedinma said. “It’s crazy because last season as well we should have been promoted but unfortunately we didn’t. So this season we proved it right. I’m just delighted for the team, and everyone.

“Literally [Harris] told me when I get on – ‘just run’. I tried to do what I could for the team and tried to waste time really.

“I’m just happy we scored and it didn’t go down to extra time and penalties.”

“The best thing to do was just waste time and run the clock down. That’s what I did, just went in the corner.”

Harris insisted that his decision not to start Onyedinma in the latter part of the season had nothing to do with his player’s contract situation.

Onyedinma said: “It’s been difficult but the most important thing, especially towards the end of the season, is promotion. You can’t just think of yourself. There’s always next season.

The most important thing was promotion, especially when we got into the play-offs. You just have to support the team and play your part.”

Onyedinma has now played at Wembley twice, after also coming on as a substitute last year in the defeat to Barnsley.

Twelve months earlier he was an unused substitute as Wycombe lost on penalties to Southend in the League Two play-off final.

Onyedinma said he was “grateful” for the opportunities that have come his way so early in his career.

“This is the third proper year of my career and I’ve been to Wembley every year,” Onyedinma added. “This is the third time lucky. I’m happy for that. If we’d lost it wouldn’t have been great. I’m just happy that I’ve finally won at Wembley as well.”

“Some players don’t get lucky enough to play here. I’m just grateful for that.”

Onyedinma made his debut with Millwall in the Championship under Ian Holloway as a 17-year-old against Blackpool in March 2014.

He wouldn’t reveal when he would make public the decision over where he will be playing his football next season, as he basked in Millwall’s Wembley victory.

“We’ve been in the Championship quite a bit before,” Onyedinma said. “When I made my debut it was in the Championship. That’s where we belong. From the Championship we can push on and see what happens.”

Image: Millwall FC 

John Kelly