Millwall defender Alex Pearce has interesting perspective on Lions' relegation battle

ALEX Pearce wants Millwall to meet the challenge of securing Championship status “head on” and “enjoy overcoming it”.

The Lions are in relegation trouble with nine games left, a run that includes daunting away games at Leeds, Aston Villa and Sheffield United, as well as home London derbies against QPR and Brentford.

But rather than feeling the nerves, Pearce is relishing the challenge, having been involved in relegation battles previously in his career.

He has experienced both sides, being relegated from the Premier League with Reading in 2012-13 having helped Norwich avoid dropping out of the Championship in 2007-08.

Most recently, he joined Bristol City on loan from Derby in January 2016 and helped them out of the relegation zone to finish eighteenth.

Millwall have a two-week break after the FA Cup quarter-final against Brighton this Sunday, after which they head to Elland Road.

But Pearce, who wore the captain's armband in the 2-0 win at Birmingham on Wednesday night, isn’t fazed by the position the Lions are in.

“Ideally we’d like to be higher up the table, of course, but things haven’t worked out that way and we find ourselves in the position we’re in,” Pearce said.

“We need to meet the challenge head on, and enjoy the challenge. That’s probably the key point that we should be making. Even though it’s not an enjoyable position to be in we should be enjoying the challenge.

“We want to try to meet the challenge head on and enjoy overcoming it. We need to go for it.

“I’ve been involved in relegation battles with Reading, on loan at Northampton, Norwich, Bristol City a couple of years ago. I know what it’s about, I know what you need to do. You need to be together as a squad, team spirit is vital.

“We will need to keep believing in ourselves and the style of play. We all need to be on the same page. It’s key to stick together in tough times. It’s easy when you’re winning, when it’s going well.

“But obviously now, when it’s a bit tougher, we need to really come together and show what we’re about, stand up and be counted.

“Not everything is going to go our way, there are going to be ups and downs between now and the end of the season. But we’ve just got to make sure we’re ready for it.”

Image: Millwall FC 

John Kelly