JED Wallace is backing Aiden O’Brien to fill the big boots of Tom Elliott and Steve Morison against Birmingham City – and believes Lee Gregory can also do the job of target man for the side.
Elliott and Morison are unlikely to be involved against Garry Monk’s side on Wednesday, leaving Millwall without their two main targets up front.
O’Brien came on as a substitute when Elliott went off with a hamstring injury against Bolton on Saturday, and looked sharp in a link role behind Gregory to help Millwall recover from a goal deficit to claim a 1-1 draw.
Wallace played down the potential loss of the two big forwards, and feels the Lions don’t get enough credit for the quality of the football they are capable of playing.
“It’s not really a problem, we’re professional footballers and that’s the way it is sometimes, things go against you,” Wallace told NewsAtDen.
“If I feel sorry for anyone it’s Tom Bradshaw who had to be patient for an opportunity he might have now had, but he gets injured.
“Aiden fancies himself as a striker, he keeps telling me he’s a striker so if he does get the opportunity then I’m sure he’ll be chomping at the bit to show people what he’s worth.
“But people forget that Greggers can be a target man. He’s as good as what I’ve played with, he’s a big, strong boy.
“I think we get a tough rap sometimes because we play direct football, but people forget we play a lot of good football. At Norwich we played a lot of good football, Saturday we played good football.
“We’re a crossing team. People often think we just pummel the ball forward, that’s not the case. I’ve not heard of a Millwall fan who would want to see us play good football and lose 3-0 than have the success we’ve had the last four years. It does make me laugh because if we’re losing 1-0 at home on Wednesday and we’re passing it around the back, we’re going to get booed.
“I don’t really know what people want, to be honest. We played well Saturday but unfortunately Bolton, they weren’t negative, but they didn’t allow any space in behind. If we were playing a so-called bigger club they would probably have pushed more for the win and there would have been more space in behind. For people like me and Greggers space in behind is what we thrive off.
“We had to put a lot of crosses into the box and obviously we lacked that bit of presence. But we still scored from a cross.
“It’s easy when we’ve had a couple of bad results for people to get confused with what we’re doing, but I’d just say to everyone, ‘calm down, we’ve had four very successful years with the manager, same players, playing a certain way’. That’s with your heart on your sleeve, running through brick walls which we’ve done for four years and which we’re always going to do.
“We’re doing everything we can and the results will come, it’s just those fine lines at the moment.”
Millwall’s equaliser on Saturday appeared to come through Jiri Skalak, but Jake Cooper is claiming he got the final touch.
Skalak’s last goal was in April 2016 for Brighton against Charlton, and Wallace hopes it’s the Czech winger who’s credited with his first Lions strike.
Wallace said: “I’m trying to get Jiri to get it. Coops is trying to claim it, he thinks he’s some sort of bloody Ibrahimovic at the moment! It would be nice for Jiri to get his first goal. He’s come in and not been playing as much as he would have liked.
“He’s a great lad and hopefully it’ll give him confidence a little bit and get him going.”
Image: Millwall FC