BRISTOL City boss Lee Johnson has admitted Millwall have “surprised people” this season ahead of the sides’ crunch clash at The Den on Saturday.
The Robins and Lions are level on points in seventh and eighth place in the Championship table, and both have the chance to deliver a damaging blow to the other’s play-off ambitions.
There was nothing to separate them in the first meeting this season, a 0-0 draw at Ashton Gate, and Bristol are ahead of Millwall only on goals scored.
The sides are in contrasting form, Neil Harris’ Millwall unbeaten at home since November and City without a league win on the road since December.
There were 20 points between the sides on Boxing Day, but City are in a slump and last Monday’s 1-0 defeat at home to Brentford saw some of their players booed by their fans.
The Robins were close to selling their full allocation of 2,000 late this week.
“It’s going to be a great game. It’s not fatal for either team but every three points are vital as they have to win one more than you,” Johnson told local media this week.
“They have a young English manager. He has done really well with a team that has been together for a couple of years and they have surprised people.
“I think it shows what a good point that was at home. They are a tough team to play against but so are we. We’re going to go into this Millwall game with a lot of fight and quality and try to get the three points.
“It was always going to be a difficult game against Brentford. What they do to you is a bit like Manchester City, in the way that they play. But we still had opportunities to break and we need to be better in the transition from a defensive mindset to an attacking mindset.
“It will be a completely different game against Millwall. More structured and less expansive. A typical Championship encounter with it all to play for.
“I never have a problem with our fans. I don’t ever think they get it wrong. I just think on that occasion I understood the booing of the performance as I would have been right there with them, but I feel that particularly with Bailey Wright the frustration was wrong in my opinion. I think fans appreciate what Bailey does but it was just a way of announcing their frustrations.”
Image: Millwall FC