Millwall’s play-off hopes suffered a setback on Saturday afternoon as they slipped to a 1-0 defeat at Bradford City. Easter Monday sees table-toppers Burton Albion come to The Den, for a game that is live on Sky Sports. Ian Hawkins, PA announcer at the Pirelli Stadium, provides ‘The View From The Opposition’…
Name: Ian Hawkins
First Burton game: First game I can remember was against Morecambe in the Northern Premier League in 1981. Former Derby striker Kevin Hector scored twice in a 3-2 Burton win.
Greatest moment following Burton: It has to be winning League Two last season, in the final game away at Cambridge United. At 1-1, our ‘keeper was sent off. We went 2-1 down from the resulting penalty, but came back to win 3-2 – unbelievable scenes at the end!
As of Good Friday, Burton sit six points clear of second placed Wigan with just nine games to go – I assume that that’s exceeded expectations?! Do you believe they will go on to win the league?: This season has exceeded all supporters’ expectations. Most were more than happy with just staying up in our first season ever at this level. Can we win it? It’s in our hands really.
Most of this squad won League Two last year, so know what it takes to go the distance and win a title. Wigan Athletic still have to come to Burton, so that could be a monumental game. Having said all that, if you offered me second place behind Wigan and automatic promotion right now, I would snap your hand off for it.
Whilst the Brewers may be starting to dream of trips to Newcastle and Aston Villa in the Championship next season, it must be great to be playing teams such as Wigan (FA Cup winners) and Millwall (FA Cup finalists and UEFA Cup participants) in League One?: It’s great to visit so many of the teams that when I was younger, we could only dream of playing at. We have enjoyed reasonable success in the Capital One Cup in recent years against higher level sides, beating Leicester, QPR, Wigan and Sheffield United twice and taking Fulham to extra time when they were in the Premier League.
This year, we have relished the away matches against the ‘bigger sides’. We have been to Wigan, Coventry and Sheffield United and won at all three, without conceding a goal, so the team are certainly not overawed and as supporters we are just loving it!
Millwall sit 5th (as of Good Friday) – how do you view their chances of joining you in the second tier next season?: I think they have a very good chance. After a slow start to the season, it is coming good for you and you appear to be getting on a good run at the right time. Automatics may be just out of reach I suspect, but hit form going into the play-offs and you have every chance.
Who are Burton’s ‘ones to watch’ on Monday night?: It’s a real team effort to be honest, but you won’t find a harder working striker in League One than Stuart Beavon and Mark Duffy is in excellent form right now, with some fantastic finishes.
Likewise, are there any Millwall players that you will be wary of?: I think the two strikers – Gregory and Morison – will be a big threat with their combination of goals and experience up top. Burton have the best defence in the division – I think we are going to need it on Monday.
Finally, how do you see the game going?: I think it will be a tight game – probably only a goal in it either way. Burton will likely play one up top. Behind that, it will depend how Nigel Clough flexes his squad to cope with two games in three days. I will go for…
Score Prediction: Millwall 1-1 Burton Albion. A tight but entertaining draw. Mark Duffy for the Brewers and Lee Gregory for the Lions.
Ian’s Team Prediction: McLaughlin; Edwards, Mousinho, Cansdell-Sheriff, McCrory; Weir; Duffy, Naylor, Butcher, Akins; Beavon.
Millwall take on Burton Albion at The Den on Easter Monday, March 28th. Kick-off is at 7:45pm and the game is live on Sky Sports.
*NOTE – This was completed before the Easter Saturday games*