Millwall midfielder not putting pressure on himself to earn longer-term deal

JEM Karacan isn’t worried about what will happen in January and instead is focused on trying to break into the Millwall team after the international break.

Midfielder Karacan signed a deal until the end of this year and made his debut against Plymouth in the EFL Cup.

His target now is Millwall’s next league game against Leeds United on September 15.

“I don’t look too far ahead. I’ve been around quite a while, but I’m still only 29. I know what football is like, you’ve got to come in and do well,” he said.

“I’ll try to impress on the training pitch. There are some good midfielders here already, I’ve played against them a lot. I know it will be tough, but I’m here to help the group in whatever way I can. I’ll be there when called upon and give it my all as I always have done.

“We’ll go from there and see what happens. I’ve not going to put pressure on myself or worry about it. If it gets extended and it’s good for both parties, then great.

“It’s four months still and I’m just looking forward to being back at a football club and enjoying myself.”

Former Reading midfielder Karacan’s contract at Bolton ended in June, but he was determined to hold out over the summer for the right deal.

“I had chances to go to clubs earlier in the window but I’m at the stage where I wanted to make sure it was right for me, I didn’t want to jump into anything,” he said.

“In terms of going in and training with clubs it can always be risky if you pick up a little niggle. It can hold you back.

"I was doing one-on-one private sessions and there is a sports facility in Reading called Go Perform made up of sports scientists from Reading and a lot of the medical team I worked with when I was there.

“Nothing compares to football fitness but I’ve been gradually picking it up.

“I was always confident enough something was going to pop up. I had offers from clubs and it was all about not rushing into something you hadn’t got your heart set on.

“You see a lot of players jump into things wanting to get sorted out quickly. I wasn’t really in that position, I didn’t feel the need to rush it.

“It has worked out perfectly. I’m naturally quite fit and I’m sure I can hit the ground running after the international break. I’ve got good time there to really get up to speed.”

*Read a longer interview with Jem Karacan in tomorrow's print edition of Southwark News.

Image: Millwall FC

John Kelly