Millwall keeper Jordan Archer not taking starting place for granted against Birmingham City

BY RICHARD CAWLEY

Jordan Archer produced a faultless display on his return to Millwall’s first-team fold – but is not taking it for granted he will start tomorrow night’s home game against Birmingham City.

The goalkeeper had not featured since the end of August but stepped in for Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Bolton Wanderers as Ben Amos was ineligible to face his parent club.

Archer earned praise from Lions manager Neil Harris for a first-half double save from Will Buckley and Jason Lowe.

But when asked if he expected to retain the number one spot, he replied: “That’s not my call.

“The gaffer is the one who makes those choices. I just had to play the game in front of me. If I do get the spot on Wednesday then I’ll be over the moon. If not it’s back to keeping my head down and working hard.

“Ben has been fantastic. I knew I had to wait for my chance and be patient, thankfully I got my chance and I’d like to think I took it with both hands.”

Archer has lost his place in the Scotland national squad while he has been on the sidelines.

“It is quite tough [being out of the Millwall side],” he said. “As much as you are training hard with LT [Lee Turner], our goalkeeping coach, you do miss out on that match fitness.

“I’ve played a few U23 games throughout that time. There is nothing like being out there at The Den. But as I’ve said before I am confident in my ability.

“David Martin is a fantastic, experienced keeper as well and we didn’t get told the team until yesterday [Friday]. It’s not until then I knew I was playing.

“It’s tough competition with Dave. I was chuffed to bits and excited to get out there.”

Archer pulled off his double stop just before Mark Beevers headed Wanderers in front. Jake Cooper got a touch on Jiri Skalak’s shot for the Lions’ late equaliser.

“I haven’t seen them [the saves] back,” said Archer. “I’m just thankful to help the team any way I can.

“The first one was a block. I tried to come out and make myself big. The second one was just an instinct save.

“There aren’t many teams in this league we come up against who we feel they are better than us. Today [Saturday] was another example. We started sloppily for the first 20 minutes. You saw after that first goal we controlled the game.

“I’m not sure what the possession stats were but it was just one of those games where the second ball didn’t quite fall for us.”