Millwall defender on why Championship is more difficult for Lions this season

BYRON Webster believes teams are showing Millwall more respect this season after their surprise challenge for a top-six place in 2017-18.

The Lions have won just once in eight league games in this campaign and lost 2-0 to West Brom on Saturday.

In their previous away game, QPR played Geoff Cameron, who has spent the majority of his career as a centre-back, in midfield to give more protection in front of the defence.

Webster was pleased with a better performance at The Hawthorns, after Neil Harris said he had got his game plan wrong at Loftus Road.

“The manager is going to say that [about the] game plan. He’s taking the pressure off us. Our game plan doesn’t change whoever we play against, it’s if we do it good,” Webster said.

“Okay [Saturday] we changed a little bit, got numbers behind the ball to be hard to beat, whereas, not that we got over-confident, but last year we did well, we got a bit of confidence and arrogance and thought we could turn up an do it, but we need to realise that we’re playing against big teams.

“Teams are showing us respect, they’re changing their style of play. QPR brought in another holding midfielder [Cameron] who’s a centre-half who has to compete with Moro [Steve Morison].

“Teams are showing us respect, so we showed some respect [Saturday]. We sat in our shape, and we’ve counter-attacked them.

“We knew what we had to do, go back to basics, be hard to beat and put in a Millwall performance and get the fans behind us. I thought they were brilliant, they travelled in their numbers and it gives you that extra buzz. We were under the cosh but you look around and there are smiles on our faces, we enjoyed the battle.

“A lot of the ball was in front of us, we had our two banks of four and tried to make them make mistakes. The first hour we nicked it and counter-attacked and it was back to Jed [Wallace] getting the ball and running at people, Jiri [Skalak] doing the same.

“Even though the result didn’t go for us we didn’t go under, we kept going until the end. It will stand us in good stead.

“We’ve lost again, let’s not get away from it. We’ve had good performances and not got the results. If we had been rubbish and nicked a win everyone would have been happy.

“It’s always down after a loss but we’ve got another game Tuesday night and we’ll get back in working hard. It’ll turn sooner or later.”

Webster made his first league start in almost a year at the weekend after recovering from knee ligament damage.

“I just keep doing what I’m doing,” he said. “I’ve grafted hard and had good people around me: my family, my friends, the lads have been top drawer. I give special praise to Paul [Tanner], the physio, the medical department, Bloomy (Laurence Bloom, head of sports science].

“I’m not getting carried away, I’ve done one proper game in the league. It’s a big achievement for me. There’s full fitness and match fitness. I’ve trained for a long, long time. It’s not just me, it’s the same for whoever’s been out of the team and comes in. We work hard and if you’re not playing you’re doing extra training.

“People have written me off after the injury, [saying] I’d never get back. Football is about proving people wrong, that’s what I strive to do.”

Image: Millwall FC 

John Kelly