Millwall defender on pivotal Bristol City clash: 'It's make or break for both teams'

SHAUN Hutchinson admitted Millwall were “gutted” after their draw at Ipswich last Monday – and hopes the two dropped points don’t come back to haunt them at the end of the season.

The Lions led at the break and were sixth in the table at that point after Jake Cooper’s header, but two quick Martyn Waghorn goals threatened to derail the promotion charge.

George Saville scored his 10th goal of the season to make it 2-2, and Millwall should have taken one of the numerous late chances they created to climb into the play-off places.

“We are all gutted because we know where we could have been,” Hutchinson said. “The gaffer made a point of it as well. If that two points comes and bites us in the bum at the end of the season, we’ll be gutted.

“We have got to make sure we don’t get deflated too much, because we are playing well. Not many teams are going to come to this place and have 22 shots at goal.

“So, tough one take, but we’ll move on. We have got a lot of work to do now to recover and get ready for the game [against Bristol City]. It’s going to be another tough game, which will be a little bit of a make or break for both teams.

“It’s going to be a difficult game, but at The Den you always feel confident.”

Millwall struggled to control the game last Monday, against a side with little to play for and who could take the shackles off.

Mick McCarthy will leave his post as Ipswich boss at the end of the season, and his side played with freedom against the visitors.

Hutchinson continued: “There’s no pressure on them at all and it’s come at a time when I think Mick McCarthy just said, ‘let’s go and outscore them’, because they took risks all over the park.

“They were leaving it one against one high up the pitch. But I think [after] the last 10 minutes we probably feel a little bit gutted we didn’t get the points.

“We have had a lot of these [types of games] this season. We just need to make sure that we don’t let this one influence us too much and deflate us because we played well but, yes, we are not happy.

“We look at the table and realise where we would have been if we got the three points. That’s the way it’s going to be and there is going to be a lot of twists and turns until the end of the season. We have just got to make sure we keep pushing on.”

Millwall were unusually defensively porous at Portman Road. Jordan Archer spilled a shot before Waghorn scrambled in his first, and then the Tractor Boys striker took advantage of Cooper’s slack back-pass to slide in a second.

But Hutchinson didn’t criticise his team-mates.

“To be honest, they took a shot, it got palmed down and it looked like he [Archer] had two hands on the ball and then it’s just bobbled around and he’s put it in the net,” Hutchinson said. “Defensively it’s not great.

“The big man [Cooper] will hold his hands up for the second one. Obviously we are on a good run at the moment. We have been stopping shots and stopping goals, so we’re gutted about conceding two.”

Image: Millwall FC 

John Kelly