Millwall defender on Reading win and recent form – and facing 3-5-2 'masters' Sheffield United

MURRAY Wallace believes given the recent form there is no reason the Lions can’t mount a play-off challenge.

Saturday’s 2-0 win over Reading at The Den on Saturday was a third victory in a five-game unbeaten run.

Wallace earned praise from manager Gary Rowett as the side kept a third clean sheet in their last five games, as the Royals didn’t have a shot on target.

“The way we played is a real sign of how good a team we are, I don’t see why (we can’t reach the play-offs),” Wallace said.

“It’s always nice to get some praise, isn’t it? The most important thing is the win and the clean sheet. I thought the performance in general was really good from the whole team.

“A couple of clean sheets recently, I think we’ve been guilty of conceding some soft goals, set-pieces and that’s an area we pride ourselves on. So it’s obviously a good sign if we’re beginning to stop conceding goals.

“They have been in form, they have dangerous players. To limit them to so little chances today was a massive positive for us.”

Wallace made arguably the tackle of the game at the end of the first half, when he flicked the ball off Sam Baldock’s toe as the striker was about to shoot.

Wallace said: “It was running through my head, they are the sort of ones where if you miss time them then it’s a penalty and you’re off. But thankfully I got there in the nick of time.

“I feel great, playing at both left-back and wing-back, it’s a different side to my game. I’m getting involved with more attacks and stuff like that, I’ve adjusted to that. I’ll always put a shift in and [Saturday] everything clicked.”

Millwall have lost just one league game in their last 13.

“There is not one thing you can out your finger on,” Wallace continued, “it just goes down to what we do on the training ground, what the  manager demands every day in training and the tactical things we work on.

“And when it comes to the weekends, it comes down to putting it all together and having concentration.”

Ryan Woods made his debut in midfield after his move from Stoke, with Rowett revealing on Saturday Jed Wallace suggested he stay in the same hotel as him and Alex Pearce to help him feel settled.

Defender Wallace said: “It’s been great to get Ryan Woods in. I think he had been a target to get in and you saw the way he just gelled in and as players we want to make it at as welcoming as possible. I think he’s enjoying it so far. We aren't going to make players feel uncomfortable.

“When you get a player the quality of Ryan coming in you welcome it and you want them to be part of the squad right away.”

The Lions have a break from league action when they host Sheffield United in the fourth round of the FA Cup next Saturday.

Wallace added: “We are excited. We played Newport [in the last round] and won 3-0. It was a good result and clean sheet, but it will be a different challenge against Sheffield United.

“They are a Premier League team, doing really well, but those are the sort of games you want to play in, the teams you  want to come to The Den, so we'll see what we can  do.

“They are the masters of the 3-5-2 with the overlapping centre-backs so it will be a great test. I’m just looking forward to seeing if we can pack The Den out and get that atmosphere going again.

“After the FA Cup you look at the Leeds game that’s been moved to a Tuesday night, that’s going to be tough with a little bit less rest. So we need to manage the games properly.”

Image: Millwall FC 

John Kelly