Millwall striker Elliott tells Harris: 'I'm ready'

TOM Elliott has been getting tips to help improve his Millwall performances – from one of his rivals for a starting place in the team.

Elliott revealed his spot in the dressing room is beside Steve Morison’s, and his older team-mate is passing on advice based on his vast experience in the game.

Elliott could take Morison’s place in the side this weekend against Birmingham, with Millwall’s captain struggling with a muscle tear in his stomach.

“He won’t sit me down for ten minutes saying, ‘do this, do this, do this’,” Elliott explained. “He knows I’ve got experience, but he’ll give me tips here and there.

“He knows what it’s all about, he’s had a very good career. Little things like when I go for the ball with a defender I’ll predominantly try to beat him in the air. But if you see Moro he’ll give the defender a little nudge and sometimes you don’t have to even jump.

“There is other stuff as well when we’re in the gym, about looking after my body.

“I couldn’t ask for a better dressing room to help me settle in. The boys are quality. I think I’m coming out of my shell and people are seeing the real me now. A lot of that is down to the boys.

“The fans have welcomed me as well. I just need to keep going and improving. My next target is to get more game time and more goals.”

Elliott had scored three times in six games this season before a quad injury caused him to miss six fixtures.

It was all the more frustrating for the former AFC Wimbledon striker as he would have got a chance to start a first league game for the club after Gregory’s three-game ban for a red card against QPR.

Elliott had picked up the injury in innocuous fashion in training before Millwall’s game at Wolves, and he is keen to make up for lost time, assuring Neil Harris he is ready to replace Morison.

“I was devastated because I wanted to make an impact, break into the team and play more minutes,” Elliott said.

“Gregs got sent off a week later, and I was like, ‘aargh!’. But that’s football, you’ve just got to look at the positives and hopefully I’ll get my chance soon.

“If it had been my left leg I would have been fine because I never use it! I’m probably not going to be trying any 40-yard attempts on goal anytime soon.

“I feel good, I just need to get my sharpness back. I’ve only trained for a week or so but that’ll come back with games.

“I’ve told the gaffer that I’m ready when he needs me. I’m honest with him and he’s honest with me. I’ll take my chance when he’s ready to put me in. I’ll make sure I’m 100 per cent to go.  I’ll keep telling him that. I’m waiting for my opportunity and raring to go.

“When you’re injured, it’s horrible. I hate watching games. I want to be out there helping, especially if the team is losing. Even when they’re winning and scoring goals you want to be out there scoring as well.

“If they’re losing, they’re your friends and team-mates and you want to go out there and help them. Either situation it’s not good to be watching it from the sideline.”

If Elliott is given his chance against Birmingham it will be in front of the Sky Sports cameras.

That won’t faze him, though.

“There are a lot more people watching, but I’ve been playing for a long time professionally,” he said. “You just have to deal with it. If you crumble there you’re not going to play any higher. Premier League games are on TV every week so you’ve got to deal with that.

“We’ve been a force at The Den this season, bar the last game. Hopefully we can replicate how well we’ve played there at times and get back to winning ways.

“We’ve got good wide players who get the ball into the box and aerial ability is one of my strengths. That’s what I thrive off so this is a good team for me to play in.”

Image: Millwall FC 

John Kelly