Keeper reveals rival's input in Millwall move

LUKE Steele has revealed he spoke to Frank Fielding after the goalkeeper's injury on the opening day – and was encouraged to sign for the club by his former team-mate.

Steele and Fielding played together at Bristol City and linked up again after the latter was ruled out until Christmas with a quad injury.

Millwall enquired about Steele previously before making their move for the former Manchester United stopper ahead of the closure of August's transfer window.

"It's ironic how it works," Steele said. "Goalkeepers have this weird respect and bond and I gave Frank a call before anybody else to ask him how his injury was. I asked about the club and different things. Frank gave it loads of positives.

"I told him before anybody, 'look, there's been interest from Millwall' and he was like, 'brilliant, get yourself here'. That set me off on the right track speaking to the manager and everything else.

"That was the first time I'd heard about it for a while. The manager had come in for me a few years ago. So I knew there was interest from him, which was nice to know.

"It was unfortunate with Frank's injury. I knew they needed to take one more goalkeeper on and it was good timing for me.

"It wasn't working out for me this season at Forest with them bringing a goalkeeper on loan from Man City and signing a French keeper. That was it for me, I had to decide I needed to get out even if it was for the short term. When this came about it was a good opportunity."

Frank Fielding injured his quad on the opening day against Preston

Steele made his debut in the first round of the EFL Cup, a 2-1 win at West Brom. He should start the second-round tie at Oxford next Tuesday but will likely be understudy to Bart Bialkowski until his loan spell ends in January.

"I'm just concentrating on these months, I don't think there's any point looking beyond that," Steele added. "The reason I'm here is because of an injury and when Frank gets back I don't think they'll look to carry three keepers. But you don't know what's going to happen between now and then, we'll assess closer to the time.

"Since I've come in Bart's done really well. I don't expect [Neil Harris] to change it at all. If I get the cup games I'll be ready for that. It's a case of me and Bart pushing each other. He's done well so deserves to play."

*Read a longer interview with Luke Steele in today's Southwark News, where he talks about playing in one of the most intense derbies in Europe, sharing a dressing room with Roy Keane and Cristiano Ronaldo, and his first impressions of The Den.

Image: Millwall FC