Millwall have the chance to move back into mid-table if they win at Huddersfield Town tomorrow – and Alex Pearce reckons there is plenty to be upbeat about.The Lions have not picked up maximum points in the Championship for five matches and a 2-1 reverse to QPR made it successive losses for Neil Harris’ men.
But captain Pearce has emphasised that spirts are still high in the camp.
“I feel we’re a victim of the start we made,” said the former Derby County and Reading centre-back.
“Because it was so good, people raise the bar and expectation levels.
“Things have stagnated a little bit, we’ve not had as good results recently, but I think if you offered that start to us before the season we probably still would have taken it. We’re still not in a bad position in the league.
“Saturday we were unlucky. We got ourselves back into the game with a typical set-piece goal for this football club. We nullified their threats very well.
“I’m pretty sure we would have gone on to win the game – that was the feeling of the lads on the pitch – but then we had what happened, in terms of the mistake. Bart [Bialkowski] is a top goalkeeper and he’ll bounce back. But that is the life of a goalkeeper. You’re going to make mistakes.
“It was another tight game and there will be plenty more of where that came from. If we can just stay in those tight games and turn them in our favour it will be a hell of a lot different.
“I think back to the draw against Middlesbrough, we certainly did enough to win that game. The draw against Hull, we could have won. It’s not all doom and gloom.
“It’s positive in which way we are looking at it.”
“We need to go away and put pressure on a side [Huddersfield] who are in a bad position in the league – in terms of what they are hoping to do and their standards.
“It’s about momentum. Winning is a habit – but so can losing. For them they have momentum in the wrong way.
“We have to focus on ourselves, turning that momentum back to how we were at the start of the season. You have to earn the right to win any game at this level.
“Huddersfield is a tough game but we can look to cause problems and impose our way on them. The crowd might be getting on to their backs, I don’t know what the situation is up there at the moment.”
Millwall have three fixtures before the next international break – following up their trip to Yorkshire with a Wednesday night assignment at Luton Town before ending on a highly-charged Den clash with Championship leaders Leeds United.
But Pearce explains why he would never talk about an expected points return from the upcoming league commitments.
“If you look too far ahead you stumble with what’s right in front of you,” he said. “It is about Saturday, Wednesday, Saturday, Saturday – just tick them off one by one.
“When people ask me what’s a good points accumulation, I never get involved in it. It’s pointless looking that far ahead.
“It would be bad to look past Huddersfield, we’re certainly not doing that.”
Pearce expects Bialkowski to bounce back from his big error against QPR – his botched pass leaving Nakhi Wells a simple finish for the winner.
“He’ll have been through it all before,” said the Lions skipper. “We don’t need to say anything to Bart. We let him get on with his job.
“All the lads make mistakes in games. His get highlighted because he is a goalkeeper. When he does it then it generally ends up as a goal.
“Football is a game of mistakes – it’s how you react to those. Can you bail your mate out of it? Unfortunately we couldn’t do that for Bart on Saturday.
“We had a couple of chances to do that but it wasn’t meant to be.”
PICTURE BY BRIAN TONKS