It’s happened, Lee Gregory has now gone on a sustained run of form, scoring goals in each and every game! When we had spent the £250k in the summer of 2014, we had all hoped this day would come, a lot had lost faith, but others have been adamant we would see this day; I have to admit I had began to lose faith myself. It’s worth noting I don’t agree with booing players, or even reaching the player on social media to throw abuse their way, but I’m sure even fans most critical of Gregory would be happy to see the player bring consistent goals to his game, a forward finally replicating his form which had earned his move to The Football League.
I don’t think anyone has ever doubted his effort for the club, we can all see that on a game by game basis Gregory runs himself into the ground for the team, and he himself has worked that bit harder to get in the position he is in now. I feel where I perhaps lost faith in the forward was during last season, of course you can argue he should’t be judged in his first season as a pro, but during last season I felt he had missed chances he is now burying with ease. Chances that stick in the mind are those away to Rotherham and Bolton, both one on one chances you’d now put your house on him scoring tomorrow, in these instances both of these games were crucial in our season, and at the time would’ve put us in a much better position. Not to blame Gregory for relegation, we all know where to portion blame for last season…
In case you happen to be unaware, since the turn of the year Gregory has now scored nine goals in all competitions, and we are only half way through February. One goal at Oldham, two against Port Vale, one at Chesterfield, one against Crewe, one at Oxford in the JPT, two at Walsall and finally one at Rochdale on Saturday. What do we owe this change of form to? It’s often said confidence is key in a run of goals for a forward; and Gregory certainly isn’t short of that at the minute. However one change in the team I believe has been key for Gregory has been the addition of Wolves loanee Jed Wallace, a player who has been a constant threat down the right hand side, he clearly has the brief from Harris of getting the service in the box for the forwards, and Gregory seems to have formed an understanding with Wallace.
Prime examples of this understanding can be spotted in the 8 goals scored in the video below, half of which coming through Jed Wallace assists. Wallace seems a cut above the rest of our squad, and I think we should enjoy having the winger while we do so, as there will be next to no chance of keeping him beyond this season. Ability wise on the ball I can’t remember having a better player in the last few years, his directness when on the ball catches out the opposition and I’m sure even his team mates can’t predict what he will do when on the ball. If I had to pick someone for Fred Onyedinma to watch and learn from, it would have to be Wallace and his playing style.
Another key influence, which has been mentioned from Gregory and other forward options has been the coaching from club legend Neil Harris, I suppose to understand this club and score goals for Millwall you won’t find a better mentor than the manager himself. Gregory has been very vocal of the relationship he has with Harris, and it’s clear all the work which has been done since pre-season has now been rewarded with the run of form Gregory is now on. To have a forward on 19 goals with 2-3 months left in the season is something we aren’t used to seeing as fans, but it’s certainly a welcome surprise for everyone. Given the age of Gregory and arguably in his prime, you’d hope he can continue this form for a few more seasons yet, however the real test would be if he could carry this into The Championship, if we were to win promotion this season. If we create the chances like we have done so far in 2016, there is no reason why this run of form couldn’t continue for a while yet.