Hutch: 'Millwall go up and down a lot – but the gaffer is building something different'

SHAUN Hutchinson insists Millwall are not worried about their away form and feels their performances have merited more points that they currently have.

The Lions moved seven points clear of the relegation zone after their 1-1 draw against Preston on Saturday, and go to Leeds next weekend as the only Championship side still looking for a first away win this season.

Hutchinson admitted Millwall need to be better in an attacking sense on the road but stressed that shouldn’t come at the expense of defensive solidity.

“The way we play, we’re on the front foot, we bounce off the crowd when the crowd is lively,” Hutchinson said. “At home we feel as if we can get after the ball a bit more, whereas away we try to be a bit more solid. When we’re like that we aren’t as attacking as we are at home to get the goals we need.

“Defensively we are solid home and away but going forward and creating stuff away from home has been a bit of a problem. If we get some results away we’ll start climbing that table.

“You wouldn’t want to take anything away defensively because as a unit we are hard to beat. If we can start getting a few more goals away from home we can pick up points.

“We’re not going away thinking, ‘oh my god, we haven’t won away all season’. It’s not something we really talk about it, to be honest. Obviously the press and the manager will mention it every now and again.

“Last year in League One we were getting good wins at hard places. It’s one of those things that has just happened this year but I’m confident before the end of the season we’ll definitely pick up a few wins.

“It’s pretty obvious that our home form has been massive for us this year, it’s always a place that we genuinely feel we can pick up three points no matter who we are playing.”

Millwall were one of the favourites to straight back down this season, and Hutchinson knows the recent history of the club is defined by promotion followed by struggles to establish themselves in the second tier.

After the Lions’ last two promotions (2000-01 and 2010-11) they were relegated after five seasons.

Hutchinson believes boss Neil Harris is building for long-term stability as they look to establish themselves as a solid Championship side.

“I’m loving it, it’s where we wanted to be,” he said. “Millwall go up and down quite a lot, but I think there’s something different this time with the squad the gaffer has built. He’s built a strong team and one that we can really build on.

“Even if we do finish where we are now I’m confident the gaffer has got it in him to regroup and build and go again. He’s got a great set-up.

“If you ask anyone who’s been at every game this season I think they would say the league table is a bit false, we should be up higher with the performances we have been putting in.”

Hutchinson has played every minute of Millwall’s league campaign this season, after struggling with injury in 2016-17.

He feels he is in some of the best form of his career, after admitting there weren’t too many takers when he wasn’t wanted by Fulham in the summer of 2016.

“I knew it was going to be difficult because no one really wanted to take a lot of the boys after that season at Fulham, because we were struggling in the Championship and didn’t do well.

“But the gaffer here showed faith in me and I feel like I’ve got my confidence back and have been playing some of the best stuff I have played. I’m thankful for that and I’m enjoying it.”

Image: Millwall FC 

John Kelly

(@jkelly1882)