Williams wants fast start against Boro as Millwall aim for first major target of season

IT has already become a Millwall mantra even before the campaign has started – get to 50 points as soon as possible next season and go from there.

Neil Harris has said it, Jed Wallace reiterated it, and Shaun Williams was on message this week ahead of the first pre-season game this Saturday.

Despite last season’s superb run which brought the play-offs to within touching distance, Lions players arrived back for pre-season training last week with their feet firmly on the ground.

Expectations will probably be higher among Lions fans that a better start to the campaign could put them into a position after the turn of the year to go one better than last season and clinch a top-six place. But Millwall are focusing on hitting their first big target of 2018-19.

Millwall passed 50 points on March 6 last season with a 2-1 win at Hull.

The Lions are one of the bookies favourites to be involved in a relegation scrap next season.

Williams, though, isn’t putting much heed in that.

“We go into the campaign with the same objective – get to 50 points as soon as possible. We like the underdog tag and proving people wrong,” Williams said.

“Hopefully over the next couple of years we can turn the odds around and be one of the favourites to go up rather than down.

“I don’t think people can get too carried away. We had a great season but you’re not necessarily going to have a great season every year. We’ll do our very best to make sure we’re still in this division at the end of the campaign.

“The manager expects us to get to 50 points as soon as possible. If we can get to that by Christmas we can continue on like we did last season.”

Millwall start the league with Middlesbrough at home on August 4, and Williams is keen for the chance to exact some revenge after Tony Pulis’ side ended the Lions’ play-off chances with a 2-0 win at the Riverside in April.

“We owe them one after what happened at the end of the season. Every year I’ve been here we’ve started slowly so it would be nice to start the way we were going towards the end of last season and continue that all the way.”

Image: Millwall FC 

John Kelly