Millwall defender gives his verdict on switch to 3-5-2 – and rues misfortune in QPR defeat

BY RICHARD CAWLEY

richard@slpmedia.co.uk

Alex Pearce reckons there was little wrong with Millwall’s 3-5-2 formation in last weekend’s 2-1 derby defeat to QPR.

The Lions are back in action at Huddersfield Town on Saturday as they look to halt a run of two successive Championship losses.

Millwall manager Neil Harris opted for wing-backs at The Den last week as he brought Shaun Hutchinson into a three-man central defence which also featured Pearce and Jake Cooper.

“It enabled us to have more attacking players on the pitch,” said Lions captain Pearce. “With the plan being it would enable us to have more going forward as well as stopping their build-up play. I thought it did that.

“If we had got the win it would have had a different feeling.”

Bart Bialkowski made the headlines last weekend for the wrong reasons. The Ipswich loanee’s botched pass to Cooper was cut out by Nakhi Wells as he slotted home the winner.

But Wells also got lucky when Pearce’s challenge to break up a QPR attack saw the ball break for the in-form striker, who dispatched a first-time shot home.

“These things happen,” said Pearce. “When things aren’t quite going for you those type of balls drop to Nakhi Wells in the box – earlier in the season they weren’t and you build that momentum.

“Now it has stalled it is up to us to work even harder to get it going back in our favour again.

“I’ve run from the edge of the box, made a tackle and it has run to Nakhi Wells and, by the way, what a finish. Left foot, I think it might be his weaker one, if he has one. Met on the full into the side-netting – no chance for Bart. One touch finish…you’re thinking we’re unlucky to be behind.

“I made the block on [Jordan] Hugill [in the first half] but he [Bialkowski] hasn’t had to make a save. Wells hasn’t had a shot before he has scored. It’s not like we were giving up chances left, right and centre.

“We got ourselves back into the game with continued pressure and scored from a set play. We caused havoc from them and we’ll continue to do that all season.

“Hutch has been fantastic throughout pre-season and the start. Credit to him. I’m really pleased to see him get on the scoresheet. We’re a massive threat from set plays.”

PICTURE BY BRIAN TONKS

See Friday’s South London Press for a full interview with Alex Pearce.

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