Millwall's O'Brien: 'It's a downhill slope if we don't start changing things'

AIDEN O’Brien is aware that repeating the claim that performances aren’t being reflected in results could be “annoying” for people to hear – but he insisted they are “doing everything right” to turn things around.

O’Brien acknowledged that if results don’t improve it’s a “downhill slope” going into the second half of the season.

Millwall play their 23rd game of 46 in the league at Stoke City at the weekend, and go into it in the bottom three having not won any of their last seven.

They have conceded 38 goals already this season, the second-worst record in the division, but have scored four more than at the same stage in 2017-18.

“The manager is doing everything for us to show us what we’re lacking and what we need to start doing better,” O’Brien said.

“It’s really the basics. We’re doing everything right, it’s the basics the manager keeps emphasising. Pressing, keeping a solid shape, as a team stop letting the ball go in our net. You can’t just blame the back four for goals conceded. It could start from a ball being slipped through our midfield. It’s not always a defender’s fault.

“We’re scoring every week so that’s not something we need to worry about. If we keep balls out of our net we’ll get wins and start flying up the table.

“We’re losing and drawing games that really we should be picking up three points from. It’s quite annoying for us. It keeps happening, it’s not a one-off thing.

“We need to find a way, dig deep, all of us as a team, even the ones that aren’t as vocal, to bring our strengths together and start changing this season. If we don’t it’s going to be a downhill slope. It’s a results-based business and we need to start picking up some wins now coming into the second half of the season.

“I’m not massively vocal but I’ll say it if I feel like something needs to be said or if I want to get something off my chest. I’m not the one that’s always going to be shouting and raising my voice.”

Millwall are targeting a first win of the campaign at Stoke, who are 11th having been expected to challenge for the title.

“It’s a massive game,” he said. “They’re not doing too great this year. They have got great players, but we’re playing really well. People that are coming know that we’re playing well but just not getting the results. It might be annoying for people to hear that, but we’re working on getting that away win.

“Hopefully it can come this Saturday against a tough Stoke team and it kicks our season on from there.”

Image: Millwall FC

John Kelly