Millwall defender praises club for stance on Glasgow Rangers target Jake Cooper

SHAUN Hutchinson knows the money being flashed by some Championship clubs is “crazy” – but stressed “you can’t buy team spirit”.

Millwall could go into this Saturday’s opening-day fixture against Middlesbrough without any new signings in their starting XI.

Ben Amos and Murray Wallace will more than likely be on the bench, and Jiri Skalak won’t have had time to get fully up to speed with his signing expected to be confirmed late this week.

Millwall have managed to retain all their key players from last season’s squad, resisting Glasgow Rangers’ bids for Jake Cooper.

Hutchinson praised the club for their stance on his 2017-18 centre-back partner.

“It was obviously out there that Rangers had bid for him. The gaffer worked with him for two seasons and got him to where he is. He understands the system, he fits in with the dressing room, you know he’s going to give everything,” Hutchinson said.

“If you let him go, yes you get the money, but you then need to bring someone else in and you’ve got to fit them in and get them used to the club.

“It was good business that Millwall kept a hold of him and it’s good we’ve kept the squad together. It’s similar to last season – and look what we did then.

“The market is crazy but at the same time you can’t buy a solid unit and team spirit. I’ve been at clubs where you bring in players for crazy money and they don’t fit in the system or the team.

“We haven’t spent a lot of money but the gaffer has created something you can’t buy: a united squad, and a talented squad as well, don’t forget that.”

Hutchinson is also pleased with the return to full fitness of Byron Webster and the acquisition of Wallace.

“He’s settled in really well,” Hutchinson said of the former Scunthorpe defender. “It’s pretty hard not to settle at Millwall, to be honest, it’s one of those clubs where you come and there are no egos. As long as you are willing to work hard, graft and be a good lad then you’re going to fit in.

“One hundred per cent it’s good to have that kind of competition. And you also need to know that if there is an injury there is always cover, and not just cover but people who can do just as good a job as you.

“The gaffer is pretty happy with the defence now, he feels he’s covered in all departments. There is competitiveness there and there is quality.”

Image: Millwall FC 

John Kelly