Millwall signing had other options this summer – but was quick to commit to Lions

BY RICHARD CAWLEY
richard@slpmedia.co.uk

Alex Pearce became signing number one of the close season for Millwall this week – with Lions chief Neil Harris admitting the experienced defender was not short of options.

The 30-year-old initially arrived at The Den on loan in January. He has agreed new terms with the Championship side, which will kick in once his Derby County contract ends on July 1.

Pearce was promoted into the starting 11 as Shaun Hutchinson struggled for form and also with injuries and illness.

He made 16 appearances for the Lions – including scoring in their FA Cup quarter-final tie against Brighton, pictured above right.

Harris said: “I spoke to Pearcey a couple of weeks ago about extending his stay. Pearcey wanted to play Championship football and felt he still had a lot to offer in the Championship.

“It was important that we got ourselves safe and playing Championship football next season. Then it was just a matter of striking a deal.

Millwall’s Alex Pearce celebrates after he scores to make it 1-0

“It wasn’t a complex deal to do. Pearcey wanted to stay and we wanted to keep him. It was good for both parties.

“I’m pleased – really, really pleased – with Pearcey.

“He has done well for us. He has brought a wealth of leadership and professionalism to the training group and he has produced some quality performances.

“With Shaun Hutchinson being unavailable for selection for a period of time he has brought a senior head and defensive mindset to the backline.

“Pearcey had a lot of admirers in the summer, due to his international experience and the amount of games he has played at Championship level.

“The fact he wanted to come [and get the deal done] so early in the summer shows the sort of character he is.

“That’s the type of player I want here. He is a competitor. He doesn’t want to lose in a five-a-side game in training, he doesn’t want to lose in a crossing-and-finishing session. And he certainly wants to win at three o’clock on a Saturday. That’s hugely important in any sport that you want to play.

“In many ways he is an old-fashioned centre-half, but he has got some ability on the ball. He has a good range of passing and can play it out from the back. But he is also able to play longer passes, which is key too.”

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