Millwall return to league action after the international break this Saturday, as they take on Swindon Town in League One action. Having won three out of their last four home games, the Lions will be looking to continue the turnaround in form at The Den. Sam Morshead takes up ‘The View From The Opposition’ ahead of this weekends match-up…
Name: Sam Morshead
First Swindon game: Marlow at home – FA Cup Third Round, January 1994. A 2-0 win, but I can’t remember a second of it.
Greatest moment following Swindon: The penalty shoot-out victory at Charlton in 2010, to reach the League One play-off final (yes, we all know what happened after that!). Closely followed by wins at Leeds and Southampton that season.
After losing out in the play-off final to Preston North End last season, Swindon find themselves near the bottom of the League One table. Has there been a hangover so far this season?: It’s hard to call it a ‘hangover’, as so many of last year’s squad left during the summer. Their replacements took time coming in and have struggled to settle into the style of play which the top men at the club want their team to play. The formation has been changed four or five times and consistency has left the Swindon vocabulary. There’s been a bit of disharmony behind the scenes, too, with the coaching staff apparently divided. Add into the mix a catalogue of injuries and it’s been the perfect – maybe we should say imperfect – storm.
How do you see Millwall faring in their first season back in League One? The Lions currently sit in 17th place, but in an incredibly tight division, are just six points off the play-offs with a game in hand… Personally, I was surprised by Millwall’s poor start to the season – particularly at home, given the New Den is historically a pretty intimidating place. I’d had the Lions in my top six before the season began, but the division is incredibly poor this year and a run of three or four straight wins would completely change the look of the table. So, I’m surprised they’re sitting 17th, but I don’t think they’ll be down that end for long.
Who are Swindon’s ‘ones to watch’ on Saturday?: It depends who’s fit, to be honest – at present there are 11 missing through injury. Of those who are likely to play, the goalkeeper – Lawrence Vigouroux – is a find. He’s on loan from Liverpool and, barring the worst clanger you’re ever likely to see in the defeat to Peterborough this week and paying for a £50 fine in pennies recently, he’s actually pretty good. Ben Gladwin returned on loan from QPR last week and lit up the County Ground last Saturday. He’s added a different dimension going forward and Milwall will need to stifle him – I wouldn’t be surprised to see a bit of man-marking going on.
Likewise, are there any Millwall players you feel your team need to be wary of?: Steve Morison versus Adam El Abd/Raphael Rossi Branco should be entertaining. Otherwise, George Saville has a good reputation around the lower leagues after loan spells and he may provide a threat. To be honest, if Millwall play disciplined, sensible football and shift the ball quickly out wide, it’s been proven that Town can’t deal with it. With that in mind, every Lions player – except perhaps Jordan Archer – is a threat.
How do you see the game going?: I’m not holding out much hope. Town have only one once down your way since 1983 and half our squad is injured. If Millwall can’t take three points you’ve got a problem.
Score Prediction: Millwall 2-0 Swindon Town.
Sam’s Team Prediction: Vigouroux; Ormonde-Ottewill, Branco, El Abd, Brophy; Traore, Rodgers, Gladwin; Ajose, Hylton, Ojamaa.
Millwall v Swindon Town takes place at The Den on Saturday, October 17th. Kick-off is at 3pm.