BY JAKE SANDERS
Jed Wallace admits his performances have improved in recent months – with the winger netting Millwall’s winner in the 1-0 victory over Reading on Boxing Day.
Wallace, who committed his long-term future to the club last month, curled home a wonderful free-kick against the Royals to move his side out of the Championship relegation zone.
It was Millwall’s first victory in nine games.
“We had to win – regardless of how it happened,” Wallace said. “We probably made it more difficult than we would have liked, but it was a real six-pointer.
Tyler Blackett was sent off for a rash tackle just one minute after Wallace had put the Lions in front. Leandro Bacuna was also dismissed late in the game.
“It’s always hard playing against 10 men,” explained Wallace. “The fans – rightly so – probably think that’s it now [game over]. It’s not, it’s hard because the shackles are off of them [Reading].
“There is no pressure on them, all the pressure is on us.
“We have not had the best run of results. It was a very pressured environment.”
Wallace’s ninth minute strike was his third goal of the campaign.
“I have always said that even when I am not playing well – which at times this year I have not – I will always be involved,” Wallace said.
“I would like to think I am one of Millwall’s most dangerous players, even if I am not playing at the top of my game. I feel like since I missed that game against Forest I have been back to myself.
“I am someone that the less I think about football the better it seems to go for me.
“Obviously after signing my contract I have not been thinking about my situation, just getting out there and playing.That helps.
“Individual targets mean nothing. I know what I’d rather do – that’s collectively be together. Get criticism as a group and get praise as a group.”
Millwall host Nottingham Forest tomorrow.
Wallace said: “It will be a different type of game, but similar in terms of a possession-based team.
“We need the crowd to be patient with us. We aren’t going to change the tactics we have had for four years where it has worked – we sit off, absorb pressure and hit teams on the counter-attack.
“We aren’t going to throw away four years of unbelievable success under the manager because of an iffy couple of months.
“We have got to keep believing in what we do. With the crowd on our side at The Den, we are a difficult team to beat.
“We want The Den to be right on our side and rightly so at times this season we have let ourselves down here with sloppiness. I wouldn’t even say bad performances, just sloppiness in a lot of games.
“I think people will see how hard we are working and it’s just the final two or three yards – getting close to someone and winning tackles.
“We are doing everything we can to push ourselves up the table. The difference between us and a lot of other teams down there is the changing room.
“We have got 25 hard-working blokes that understand what it’s like to play for Millwall. We do everything we possibly can to win.”