JORDAN Archer admits he made mistakes last season but he knows what the remedy is: hard work.
Archer, 25, was in the top five Championship goalkeepers for clean sheets in 2017-18 but also made some errors that cost his side goals.
Archer – whose Twitter bio reads ‘striving for greatness’ – believes he has “another level” and is excited to be working with new goalkeeping coach Lee Turner this season.
Former Tottenham stopper Archer knows he will have Ben Amos – who joined on loan from Bolton – breathing down his neck this campaign, with Dave Martin the third first-team goalkeeper at the club.
Millwall replaced previous goalkeeping coach Kevin Pressman with Turner this summer, and Archer feels that the former Charlton man can help him become one of the Championships best netminders.
“I’m really excited to work with LT, it’s refreshing. I want to say that Kevin Pressman was fantastic,” Archer said.
“But LT has come in with new ideas and new sessions and I can really see myself pushing to reach the next level.
“He keeps himself in good shape and that’s a credit to him. He is able to strike the ball really well and that helps us goalkeepers in training and warm-ups.
“Ben’s a top keeper but I’m working hard every day and I came back in the best shape I’ve been in. With the new goalkeeping coach, every day I’m improving.
“I know I need to come in here every day and work hard because I’ve got Ben and David fighting for the same spot as me. That added competition is only going to benefit me.
“I was looking at the stats and I was in the top four or five in the Championship last season. I don’t necessarily worry about stats because I made too many mistakes last season. My aim is to be better this season and be a lot more consistent.
“I’ve got another level to step up to so I’m excited about the season to come.”
Since the end of last season, Archer made his full senior debut for Scotland, and then took a keen interest in the World Cup, where a former team-mate and ex-Lions player took home the Golden Boot.
“I’ve known Harry Kane since we were nine or 10,” Archer said. “We both played for the same summer league team [Ridgeway Rovers, where David Beckham also played] before we got picked up by Spurs. We played for the same district as well [Waltham Forest].
“I’ve played against him since then [in the FA Cup in 2017]. He’s always had that finisher’s instinct, he was always the best finisher in training and he’s pushed on and taken all in his stride. Everything he has achieved is from all those hours that he practises and no one really sees. He’s a top, top pro and he’s really down to earth. I texted him after the World Cup and he replied ‘Thank you’. I’m sure he’s had thousands of texts since the tournament.
“A lot has happened in three years. When I was at Spurs Hugo Lloris and Michael Vorm were there so I was under no illusions, I wasn’t going to play first-team football. I had to go away and make a name for myself and thankfully the gaffer put his trust in me. It’s been three-and-a-half wonderful years.”
Archer now knows that another good season for Millwall could lead to more international honours – his debut was in a 2-0 defeat to Peru – but that is not his current focus ahead of the first game of the season against Middlesbrough this Saturday.
Another call from Scotland boss Alex McLeish can wait.
“I’d been in the squad a couple of times but they had an established number one in Craig Gordon and Allan McGregor was there as well,” Archer said. “I knew I had to be patient.
“This was the perfect opportunity, they took a young squad and half the team were making their debuts.
“The occasion was special, away to Peru and it was their last game before the World Cup. It was a carnival atmosphere and I was very proud to get my first cap.
“The two goalkeepers were massively helpful, they’ve played at a top level. I’m still only 25 and they are in their mid-thirties so I’ve still got to be patient, they still have a few years left.
“I’ll focus on working hard down here and whatever comes will come.”
Image: Millwall FC