Jake Cooper confident Millwall will hit form after previous slow starts

BY RICHARD CAWLEY

Jake Cooper reckons it is way too early to be looking at the league table – with Millwall’s last two campaigns perfect examples of why.

The Lions started slowly in the previous couple of seasons but won promotion via the League One play-offs in 2017 and finished eighth in the Championship in 2018.

Millwall dropped into the bottom three after defeat at West Brom last weekend and have gone six Championship games without a win.

Cooper said: “You saw last season we didn’t have a great start to the season and I think it was the same the year before, we have got a long time in the season to turn things around.

“We’ve put in some good performances for maybe half a game or 60 minutes – we just haven’t quite got the 90 minutes where we play at our standard last season and the standard we know we’re up to.

“It’s about putting in that 90 minutes we know we can perform at and it will help us move forward.”

Millwall went to a three-man central defence in the second half against Fulham – throwing up the question whether manager Neil Harris could go 3-5-2 against Sheffield United on Saturday.

“The 4-4-2 was very effective for us last season but the manager used it [3-5-2] well at times last season and the players feel comfortable using it. We’re more than comfortable whatever formation we have to play and are happy with whatever team the gaffer picks.”

Cooper captained the Lions in Tuesday’s 3-1 EFL Cup loss to Fulham.

“We played against a top side, they got promoted to the Premier League last season, and they showed their class with a couple of the goals.

“Their formation meant they overloaded us in the middle of the park and especially out wide. They have great players and switch it really well. They are comfortable on the ball and penned us in.

“We looked a much better team in the second half but after their third goal the game sort of ran away from us.”

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