Millwall kept up their record of losing just the once away from home this season on Tuesday night, as they drew 1-1 with Blackpool at Bloomfield Road. The point came at a cost, however, as Shaun Williams came off injured, whilst Carlos Edwards saw red late on. This Saturday, the Lions face perhaps their toughest test on the road so far, as they travel to Sheffield United for the early kick-off. Blades’ Supporter Liaison Officer, John Garrett, takes up ‘The View From The Opposition’…
Name: John Garrett
First Sheffield United game: Tuesday, September 4th, 1973 – Sheffield United 5-0 Arsenal!
Greatest moment following Sheffield United: A mass of highs and lows(!) – taking 6 points from Wednesday in the 1992/93 campaign, that cost them the League title always sits quite well, to be honest!
The Blades have former Lion, Martyn Woolford, among their ranks this season. How has he been getting on?: ‘Wooly’ is a good lad who has fitted in well – I can remember him in his non-league days at Glasshoughton and Frickley – he has always been a grafter. He fits in well at United, has played for the manager before and is a Yorkshireman (even though not from the People’s Republic of South Yorkshire!).
Sheffield United are a big fish in the small pond of League One – the aim this season must be to finally win promotion back to the Championship and no less?: Yes. Nigel Adkins was brought in to get the club promoted. His record speaks for itself in getting teams up and I am sure that his time and adventures at Southampton played a huge part in the thought process in his appointment. I doubt there was anyone better qualified for the role and he has set his stall out here accordingly. He was also the unanimous choice of the fans – that speaks volumes.
What do you think of Millwall’s chances in League One this season? The Blades have shown that being a bigger club doesn’t always mean an instant return to the second tier!: League One is a tough division to get out of. I never thought we would spend five years here (up to press). I believe that you are what you are – the season we went down from the Championship, we got what we deserved, so I never have the ‘bigger club’ syndrome. That said, the name brings added endeavour, especially at home. Teams raise their game when they come to Bramall Lane. Its not that long since Millwall were in the FA Cup Final, playing in Europe and getting attention – those things always count and I am sure the Lions will get the same. The Den is a top ground and you will be viewed as one hell of a scalp – as I am sure you have already found. It isn’t about the football you play in this league, its about finding the formula to get you back out again. We just shiver when anyone mentions the play-offs!
Who are Sheffield United’s ‘ones to watch’ on Saturday?: That would be telling! Che Adams has taken the step from non-league in his stride and is looking like he will develop into some player. Kieren Freeman (who joined from the same club) has been outstanding as well. Billy Sharp, who is in his third spell at the club, will always get goals and Jose Baxter, on his day, is as good a midfielder as you will find outside of the top flight.
Likewise, are there any Millwall players that you will be wary of?: I knew Lee Martin when he was with us and I like the lad – he should have played consistently at the highest level, without any disrespect to his time at Ipswich. Lee is a clever player who reads the game well and always causes problems. Steve Morison is no fool either and Mark Beevers has always been a steady and strong lad – he is well known here from his days across the city.
How do you see the game going?: Like the Den, Bramall Lane is never as easy place to come to and, as always, it depends on which Millwall team turns up on the day. I’ll always fancy us at home, so I am going to plump for…
Score Prediction: Sheffield United 2-1 Millwall.
Last Time Out: Howard; Freeman, Basham (c), McGahey, Collins; Campbell-Ryce, Hammond, Wallace, Done; Adams, Sharp.
Sheffield United v Millwall kicks off at 12:15pm this Saturday, October 24th, at Bramall Lane.