Shaun Williams: Lack of a clinical touch has cost Millwall this season

BY RICHARD CAWLEY

Shaun Williams admitted that Millwall’s lack of a clinical touch has been one of the key factors in their Championship struggles this season.

The Lions saw their status secured on Saturday afternoon. Rotherham United’s defeat at West Bromwich Albion confirmed that they will join Ipswich and Bolton Wanderers in League One.

Millwall struggled to create chances in their 0-0 draw against Stoke City.

Lee Gregory did fire wide late on as he raced on to Ryan Tunnicliffe’s pass.

But Williams was in no mood to criticise the Lions’ leading goal-scorer.

“He’s not the only one,” said the Irish midfielder. “We’ve had plenty of chances over the course of the season to get goals. That chance there was not going to be the defining  moment.

“He’ll just keep getting in that position and hopefully take the next one.”

Stoke was another largely dour encounter, similar to a fair number of Den matches this season. This was the fourth 0-0 in 2019 there with the games against Rotherham, Sheffield Wednesday and QPR equally as unmemorable.

Williams said: “We were hard-working but lacking end product, maybe. We might have nicked it at the end but other than that we didn’t create many chances.

“We stuck at it and got a clean sheet against a good side.

“Maybe a lack of quality in the final ball and taking chances has been our story this season. The number of chances we have created, we probably haven’t got enough goals from them – so it’s something to work on.”

Williams said he could not do with the “drama” of following the Rotherham match, which kicked off just before Millwall’s match had finished.

Lions boss Neil Harris felt nerves impacted on his side’s performance  but the experienced Dubliner, who was on the club’s books when they were last relegated from the Championship, said: “Maybe there was, I don’t know. On a personal level, I wasn’t.

“The dressing room we’ve got is quite focused on the job at hand. It’s only us that can affect it. When it’s going well and the crowd are behind us it is fantastic [at The Den] – but we didn’t feel under pressure today [Saturday].

“I think our objective at the start of the season was to get to 50 points as quickly as possible.

“Unfortunately we haven’t been able to do it like last season, where we did it quite early and had a good run. It’s just football, really. In the division we’re probably where we’re meant to be money-wise.”

Williams had been an unused sub for the last seven matches. But he came back into the starting line-up on Saturday.

“I enjoyed it,” he said. “I’ve been out since the start of March. I was ready for the task, I kind of blew up towards the end.”

“You kind of get an inkling two days before [that you are going to be selected] and then he [Harris] names the team the day before the game.”