Lions will thrive now, says Craig
MILLWALL could, and perhaps should, have had their play-off spot sewn up by now – but captain Tony Craig is confident the Lions will roar in their finalday nerve-jangler against Bristol Rovers.
If the Lions had beaten either Oxford or Fleetwood in the last two weeks – instead of the 3-0 and 1-0 losses they suffered – they would head into today’s clash at the Memorial Stadium simply playing for momentum heading into the play-offs.
Instead, they’re fighting for their play-off lives but Craig is just relieved their destiny is still in their own hands.
The defender knows victory will seal a playoff place, while anything less will mean relying on Southend and Rochdale to slip up.
And the 32-year-old claims he and the rest of Neil Harris’ squad will thrive on that pressure, despite their recent struggles.
“It’s a game we’re looking forward to,” said Craig. “We’ve put ourselves in a fantastic position.
“If you look at our points tally since midDecember, we’ve had a very good return.
“We would have liked it to be over by now but it’s still in our hands and it’s a great game to be involved in this Sunday.
“It’s like a play-off game already – we know what’s at stake and what we’ve got to do on the day.
“As a professional, you want to play in these sort of games and thankfully we’ve got a squad who I know will thrive.
“We’ll have confidence because we know what’s at stake, we know what to expect from Bristol and we know their strengths and weaknesses.
“It’s about executing the gameplan on the day.”
In positive news for Millwall, 26-year-old centre-back Shaun Hutchinson has a chance to be fit for today’s game, despite suffering a rib injury at Fleetwood last week.
Hutchinson’s addition would be a boost for the Lions as Bristol Rovers have scored more league goals than them – with 65 – in a promising campaign.
In their first season after promotion from League Two, Darrell Clarke’s Pirates are guaranteed a spot in the top ten and despite being out of the play-off mix, Craig is anticipating a tricky contest.
“They’re a good side from front to back and have done superbly to push towards those promotion places this season,” he added.
“Unfortunately for them they’ve fallen a few points shy but they’ll come at us on Sunday and will want to end the season on a high.”