Millwall boss hints at goalkeeper's future

MILLWALL manager Neil Harris has hinted that David Martin could earn a new deal after his recent performances.

Martin, 33, has started the Lions’ last seven league games and kept three clean sheets.

He has impressed with the way he has bounced back after his high-profile mistake against Brighton cost Millwall a place in the semi-finals of the FA Cup.

Former MK Dons stopper Martin is a popular player in the dressing room, and boss Neil Harris admires his leadership qualities.

After playing just four times in a season-and-a-half, Martin was considering his future and hadn’t ruled out a move elsewhere. He is out of contract this summer.

But his unexpected elevation to become Millwall’s first-choice goalkeeper could change things for both parties.

Harris was asked about the goalkeeper’s future after the 1-0 defeat to Aston Villa on Monday.

“He’ s putting in some really good performances and when you want players to step up at this stage of the season and try and earn a new contract and prove themselves, he can’t do much more at the moment,” Harris responded.

Martin produced a string of saves at Villa Park to keep Millwall in the game, and earn the praise of his manager.

Harris added: “I thought Dave was excellent, his handling was excellent. It was probably an even better performance than he put in here last year when he made his league debut. He deserved a clean sheet.”

Millwall now have two home games, against Stoke and Bristol City, when a win in either will see them beat the drop.

Harris is positive about his side’s recent form.

“We competed with Villa, just weren’t good enough to win the game. We’ve had six points from four games.

“Before that, places we’ve lost [like] Leeds, we were outstanding.

“We’ve had a tough run but we’ve got some good points. Once we rearranged the Bristol City game our season became defined by those two home games.

“Our season can twist and turn on the back of Stoke and Bristol City. [Monday] was not a free hit because of the position we are in, but coming to Villa Park in front of 40,000 people, I think my players enjoyed it.

“Stoke and Bristol City two good sides but we need to be better than them. Stoke coming to The Den, an ex-Premier League club with a big following, should be right up the street of my players and my fans and we have to make sure it’s a strong and hostile place to be.”

Image: Millwall FC 

John Kelly