SHAUN Williams delivered a half-time talk to his team-mates before Millwall came from behind to beat Wigan Athletic at The Den on Tuesday night.
The Lions were 1-0 down to a first-half injury-time own goal from Jed Wallace, before Josh Windass missed a penalty in the 58th minute.
Just a minute later, Williams scored from the spot and Steve Morison grabbed the winner eight minutes from time.
Lions boss Neil Harris later revealed the leading role played by Williams, who was wearing the captain’s armband, and also gave an interesting insight into aspects of his own management of the players.
“Shaun Williams spoke really well to the group at half-time,” Harris said. “I’m talking a lot at the moment about character and body language.
“They’re developing and coming out of themselves. The comeback tonight will do the group the world of good.
“In any walk of life, in any management position, you want to see your troops, your workers, and say, ‘go on, what have you got?’ While I’m taking a moment to think about tactical changes, substitutions, I’m half-listening to what the group might be saying as well.
“I’m big on using their words, leading into a game, training, in the changing room. What are they saying, what are they telling each other? What are their key words? And I recycle them with them sometimes. ‘They’re your words, fellas, come on, listen to your words.’
“At half-time Shaun spoke really well. I don’t know what it was, there was really positive energy in there. They were ready to go again, I didn’t really have to say anything.
“For me it was about trying to pass on a little bit of Millwall experience, [what it was like] losing at home when you’re struggling in the league. I passed them on a bit of knowledge but all the rest was done by the group.”
Williams’ goal was his fourth of the season, two more already than in all of last season.
Williams also scored for the Republic of Ireland against Wales in September, and Harris was asked if 10 goals – the total George Saville got last term – was a realistic aim for the midfielder.
Harris said: “With the players we’ve got, especially when you’re playing with people like Jed Wallace and Fergie [Shane Ferguson], when you’ve got Lee Gregory’s movement and the amount of good play we’re delivering at the moment – an unbelievable amount of balls we’re getting into good areas, we must be miles out in front of the rest of the country at getting balls into good areas and forcing set-plays – we should be winning penalties. And if you’ve got a class penalty taker then we should be scoring goals. So it’s up to the team to win those penalties.
“Can Shaun Williams get 10 goals this season? Well he’s got the shooting range to do it, he’s got the timing of his runs to do it.
“George Saville was a great player for us, he’s a top, top player. He’s got great timing of his runs. We play to a system that allows players to run forward from midfield. Can Shaun get 10? Can Lenny [Ryan Leonard] score goals? Well he’s had loads of shots and once he gets one he’ll get another and another because that’s what he does from midfield, I played with him.
“Our midfield players can score goals in this team.”
Image: Millwall FC