Bart Bialkowski on signing permanent deal with Lions and defeat to Leeds United at Elland Road

BY MATT VERRI

Bart Bialkowski could not hide his disappointment after Millwall were unable to hold out in the face of sustained Leeds pressure on Tuesday.

The keeper, who made his loan move from Ipswich to Millwall permanent this week, could not prevent the hosts from mounting a 3-2 comeback win.

The 32-year-old has played all but 43 minutes in the league this season for Millwall.

Bialkowski revealed it was not a difficult decision to join on a permanent basis. “I’m happy to sign the contract,” he said. “As a player you always want to know your future, especially when you’re really enjoying playing for a team.

“The atmosphere in the dressing room is fantastic – everyone gets on really well.

“We’re confident, and even though we lost this match we are playing well.

“We know we can give anyone in the division a good game. It was an easy decision to stay.”

The Poland stopper insisted he and his team-mates were fully aware of the threat Leeds would pose to his goal in the second period, making the defeat particularly disappointing.

“I’m devastated – we shouldn’t concede three goals in the second half,” Bialkowski said.

“At half-time we knew we had to step up our game because they were going to come at us.

“They are so comfortable with the ball and so quick with transitions. It was hard for us, but we knew what to expect and to not do enough to hold on to that 2-0 lead is disappointing. They were all over us with wave after wave of attacks, but I’m gutted to lose.

“As a keeper, you’re disappointed to concede three goals, even though I made a couple of saves.

“The first goal I made a save and thought I’d done enough, but they were quick to react to the second phase. That goal gave them a lift.”

Bialkowski made eight saves in the match in another impressive individual performance, despite the end result.

That is a sign of just how much pressure Millwall came under – but the keeper admitted he enjoyed the challenge of being kept so busy.

“These kinds of games are good for a keeper, but they’re not ideal for the team,” Bialkowski said.

“You are always focused and have shots to save, but in games when you don’t have much to do you never know when you’re going to be needed.

“Their fans tried to make it difficult for us, but it was the same when we were at home.

“For me, I’m enjoying playing in front of big crowds and you want to play in an atmosphere like that every week.

“Their fans were loud, but you could still hear the Millwall support.”

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