Millwall striker admits it felt 'sweeter' to score against club that released him

LEE Gregory admitted it felt “sweeter” to score against Sheffield United – the club he supports and that released him as a youngster, writes Harry Mccormack

Gregory put the Lions ahead on Saturday with his first goal for over two months and then provided a brilliant assist for Mahlon Romeo to make it 2-1 in the second half.

Gregory went off to a standing ovation in the 76th minute before Jake Cooper sealed a 3-1 win by nodding home Jed Wallace’s free-kick three minutes from time.

Sheffield-born striker Gregory was feeling unwell before the game, but he made it clear to Lions manager Neil Harris that he wanted to play.

“It’s Sheffield United, that’s where I came from, nothing was going to stop me from playing,” Gregory said. “I was under the weather, just a bit ill, but so is everyone else when they go to work, and they have to work all day. So why should I just sit it out because I feel unwell?

“It’s always good to score a goal, but it felt that much sweeter today. The assist was the icing on the cake. I lost the ball and I thought, ‘I have to go and get it back quickly’, and thankfully the pass managed to get through to Mahlon.

“Football’s football, you get released at loads of clubs when you’re young, you get released when you’re older as well. You just have to get on with it and deal with it.

“It’s nice to come back and score against them. Growing up that’s what you want [to play for Sheffield United] and it does have an effect on you in later years. I seem to have bounced back now and am doing alright for myself.”

Gregory’s goal was just his third of the campaign, but he insisted he was still on course to reach the target he set for himself at the start of the season.

“I’m not the type of player that lacks confidence, as long as I’m getting chances then I’m taking the positives out of it,” Gregory said. “When I stop getting chances is when I’m thinking I’m doing something wrong.

“But as long as I’m getting the chances the goals will come.

“I think I’m playing like that every week. I played like that the last home game against Hull but unfortunately didn’t score. Now I’ve scored and it looks a little bit better. I’m enjoying my football at the minute and hopefully the goals will keep coming.

“I’ve got targets in my mind and it’s not out of reach yet. When I get there I’ll let you know. If I keep getting the chances I’ll hit the target. I hope they’ll start coming thick and fast.”

The win was Millwall’s first in seven games after Wallace and Romeo started together for the first time since the League One play-off final.

“Jed’s energy is outstanding, he gives you everything week-in, week-out and it’s good to have him back,” Gregory continued.

“But is it wasn’t just Jed today, the lads were class from back to front. You know what you’re getting with Mahlon, he’s fast, good going forward, defends well. It’s good to know that when players do get banned or injured we’ve got players that can fit straight back into the team.

“We had our last six games without a win, and we’ve come into the changing room thinking, ‘we should have got something out of that’. But we forget about it and concentrate on the next game.

“Now we’ve got that win and we’ll take that at [Aston] Villa on Saturday.”

Image: Millwall FC