BY RICHARD CAWLEY
Steve Morison reckons the fitness boast from Leeds captain Liam Cooper could be an attempt at mind-games before next weekend’s visit to The Den.
Millwall have won eight of the last nine meetings in South London. The Yorkshire outfit are top of the Championship – but had made a similarly impressive start last season and were dominated on their way to a 1-0 defeat in mid-September 2017. The Lions went on to do the double with a thrilling 4-3 victory in January.
“One thing we know this season is that we are fitter than any team in the league and it’s a great feeling to have,” said Cooper.
“It’s unbelievable knowing that you are going to run over teams in the second half and if the going gets tough and it’s the last dying stages.”
But Lions skipper Morison – who used to play for the Elland Road club – can’t wait for the chance to face his old employers.
“I’ll turn up, pull out my Zlatan Ibrahimovic kit, whack that on and take care of it,” he said. “Every now and again I seem to have the game of my life.
“We can only judge ourselves – you can’t judge other people’s fitness. Obviously they are very confident and have every reason to be. I suppose his comments have been made with maybe us in mind, considering the fact that against Middlesbrough, Derby and Swansea we have either lost or nearly lost points in the last 10 to 15 minutes of games.
“If I was looking at us it is something I would class as a weakness at the moment. So I understand what he is doing and saying. We’ll just see what happens.”
Millwall have lost their last three Championship matches but manager Neil Harris expects his side to kick on now the transfer window has closed – ending a testing period where a number of his players were subjects of bids. Eventually only George Saville left for a club record £8million.
“What Leeds are saying is that they are maybe a fitter team than last year and work harder with and without the ball,” said the Lions boss. “It makes them a tough proposition. But no team outworks us, certainly not at home. We know our strengths and where we need to improve at the moment. Attitude, desire and passion are never going to be an issue. We need to cut out the silly mistakes as a group and individuals – that’s where we need to improve.
“If Leeds are coming to be physical and rampant then we are prepared to match that.”