JAMES Meredith has been getting abusive messages from Bradford fans on social media – but has the “thick skin” to deal with it.
Meredith spent five years with the Bantams before making the switch to Neil Harris’ Millwall in June.
The transfer was all the more bitter for Bradford supporters, who saw their side lose to Millwall in the League One play-off final in May.
But Meredith believes he earned the right to leave the club for a shot at Championship football, and brushes off the ill will from those who used to cheer him on.
“They send snake emojis to me on Instagram,” he said. “It is what it is. I did my job at Bradford for five years and I did it well. So I saw a good opportunity to play in the Championship.
“Neil really sold me the club and I’m really happy I made the move. I’m loving it at the moment. I just want to keep working hard and progress.
“It doesn't bother me. I’ve got thick skin so I can take it. I laugh at it when I see it.
“It is what it is. After the play-off final, I spoke to Neil. He voiced how much he wanted me. He said how he was going to play this season and his ambitions and how it was like a family club, the togetherness of the team. He sold it to me, that’s the truth of it.
“I had other interest and Bradford offered me another contract, but he really sold it to me.”
Meredith made his competitive Lions debut in the 1-0 defeat to Nottingham Forest on Friday night.
He took the place of last season’s first-choice left-back, Tony Craig, and he emphasised how hard he is willing to work to keep his place.
“No one can just turn up and expect a position,” Meredith said. “Tony Craig is a great player who is a legend at the club. So I knew I’d be competing for a spot, and I still am, every week. You can’t lose games and expect to play. So, with the type of person I am, anyone will tell you I get my head down, work hard. I’m very professional and I’m always doing my best for the team.
“I’ve worked hard for years and years to get to this spot, so I’m hungrier than I’ve ever been. I’m hungrier than when I was 24. I’m probably not as athletic and fit, but I still think I have a lot to give this year.”
Meredith was part of a Millwall side that created more than 20 scoring chances at The City Ground. They thought they had equalised when Steve Morison finished Jed Wallace’s cross at the back post in the 76th minute, only for it to be controversially ruled out.
Meredith said. “It’s a real shame because we worked hard and had so many chances. But at the end of the day, what’s done is done and we need to look towards the next game.
“I think we did well. We were solid, strong and worked hard. Then we had good opportunities going forward and that’s what it’s about.
“We put in a good performance. We didn't play and move the ball like they did but we created more opportunities. We were stronger than them. We should've won. They’ll say we should've won, really.
“Bradford had many of those games, but the quality of strikers and players of Millwall is better. We just have to look to the next game and hopefully we can be as solid as were against Forest and keep putting in these performances.
"I’ve got real faith in the team and the lads and I think we’ll have a decent year.”
Image: Millwall FC