Millwall defender won't say who he wants in FA Cup – after 'jinxing' West ham last season

MURRAY Wallace is hoping for home advantage in Monday evening’s FA Cup fourth-round draw – but doesn’t want to jinx it by saying which team he wants.

Wallace wanted West Ham in the fifth round last season, but the Premier League side were shocked by AFC Wimbledon against whom the Scottish defender then scored the only goal to seal a quarter-final against Brighton.

The Hammers join the Lions in the fourth round, after David Moyes’ side’s 2-0 win at Gillingham on Saturday, along with the likes of holders Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea.



Tottenham and Manchester United face replays, while Arsenal host Leeds after Monday's draw.

Millwall have been at home a remarkable 15 times in the last 17 draws.

“Home advantage, anyone at home then I guess,” Wallace said, “and pack out The Den. I did [say West Ham last season]. We nearly got them as well but I wouldn’t jinx it so we will take whoever.



“It’s obviously the start of the cup for us, we’ve had good history in it over the last couple of years so hopefully we can have a good run in it this year.

“It’s another game and we want to win every game. I think last season we were more focused on the league because of the position we were in, a real dogfight. The FA Cup was a bit of a break for us – the pressure was off and we could express ourselves a little bit more.

“This season, obviously we’re focused on the league as well, hopefully in a different position pushing forwards, but it’s a welcome break. You can take more chances and express yourselves more in these one-off games.

“A good cup run gets players involved that haven’t been playing as much in the league, gets them match fit and ready to go which is a real bonus. You can see what a little bit of confidence can do for the likes of Connor Mahoney, it takes off.

“He’s come to the club and hasn't quite set it alight as he’s done in the last couple of games, but I think all he needed was a bit of confidence and obviously coming off the bench and having the effect he did the other day [against Luton] has helped him massively.

“You can see how much it means to him. He’s taking players on, crossing and shooting from everywhere, so it’s brilliant."

Connor Mahoney fires home from the penalty spot

Mahoney, as well as Matt Smith and Tom Bradshaw, scored in the Lions’ 3-0 win over Newport on Saturday in front of just a 6,009 attendance at The Den.

Wallace added: “I think these games can be the toughest. Against the likes of the Premier League teams we are the underdogs and it’s a big occasion. But when you come up against the teams from the lower leagues it can be a bit of a banana skin.

“So I thought we did well and did a good professional job.

“I think you just have to create your own atmosphere, obviously with just the one [home] stand open. The fans were brilliant but it’s a different atmosphere from the full Den against Premier League teams.

“You have to create your own atmosphere and your own tempo and do a professional job.

“I don’t think we were at our best. The pitch isn’t the best at the moment, we couldn't move the ball as quick as we wanted so it was a bit of a slow tempo in the first half. We controlled the game. We created opportunities and took them when we got them.

“We want to move the ball a lot more [under boss Gary Rowett]. We don’t want to take away what we’re good at as well, we can go direct and when big Matt Smith’s on the pitch it’s a real threat for us.

“I think that was probably [Newport’s] main threat, the direct game. So for us to move the ball around quickly was probably the best game plan.”

*Millwall are ball No.23 in tonight's draw, which takes place from 7.35pm on BBC One and BBC iPlayer.

Image: Millwall FC

John Kelly

(@jkelly1882)