After the Boxing Day clash with Walsall at The Den, the second of Millwall’s two festive fixtures takes place on Bank Holiday Monday, as they travel to Southend United for the second time in December. Shrimpers fan, Daniel Thomas, takes up ‘The View From The Opposition’…
Name: Daniel Thomas
First Southend game: As a young three year-old, I was taken to Southend v Macclesfield in 2000 – not that I remember the game, but the score was 3-1 to the Shrimpers and I was convinced by my old man that the Southend number 7 was David Beckham!
Greatest moment following Southend: Has to be the play-off final against Wycombe [last season], where Joe Pigott scored with about 20 seconds left to send the game to penalties. I was at the age to appreciate this triumph, compared to the back to back promotions between 2004-06. Although I was there throughout the success, I just thought it was a Southend thing to win every week at the age of 9.
Millwall beat Southend in the JPT at Roots Hall three weeks ago – do you feel that game will have any bearing on Monday’s encounter?: Honestly? I think not – we didn’t have a full strength side out, so it will be a different test for Millwall. Although the Lions may carry momentum over, I don’t think it counts for too much.
Monday’s game begins the second half of the season – what are your expectations for Southend between then and May?: My expectations were to finish between 14th and 18th, so I think we’ll manage to beat that. If truth be told, we haven’t had a proper strike force so far this season, with, in my opinion, two inadequate forwards in Mooney and Pigott playing, whilst Noel Hunt has been out. With Hunt coming back and scoring two on his first game back in three-four months against Bury, we have a good chance of making the play-offs.
Likewise, how do you see Millwall getting on?: I don’t take much notice in other sides (apart form Colchester), but being one of my most local teams (being from Bromley) and having mates who are ‘wall fans, it’s hard not to read into Millwall. I know that you’ve had poor home form, but would expect to see you in the top 10 – possibly 8 – come May.
Who are Southend’s ‘ones to watch’ on Monday?: The whole team. At the moment, we may have just found our ideal eleven, with injuries being reduced. But attacking wise, Jack Payne is a class act, as too is Noel Hunt, for this division. In defence, our main man is Daniel Bentley, the goalkeeper, who potentially could be leaving to a Premiership or Championship club, as his contract is up in June.
Are there any Millwall players that you will be wary of?: I’ve heard good things about Aiden O’Brien; he seems pretty decent. I think Shaun Williams and Steve Morison are good players for this level, but there isn’t really anyone else that worries me.
How do you see the game going?: With our last home game being a 4-1 victory, it would be nice to see our momentum carry over – I think…
Score Prediction: Southend United 2-0 Millwall.
Daniel’s Team Prediction: Bentley; White, Thompson, Barrett, Coker; Leonard; Worrall, Atkinson; Payne; Hunt, Mooney.
Southend United v Millwall takes place at Roots Hall on Monday, December 28th. Kick-off is at the earlier time of 1pm.