Tonight we take on probably our biggest game of the season so far, as we welcome local rivals Charlton Athletic to SE16. Fresh from two consecutive defeats, failing to score on both occasions against bottom and top of the division, tonight form will surely go out of the window in a game where both sides will be desperate to win.
If its any consolation, Charlton have also failed to pickup a win in December, with their last win arriving away to Bristol Rovers; although a 5-1 victory shows the threat we might be up against tonight. Yet to win under new manager Karl Robinson, pressure will be immense on both sides ahead of this clash, with both sets of fans after the bragging rights.
I’m sure both sets of fans will agree we’re not the biggest rivals to each other, however we can also both agree its the biggest clash we will get in the glamour of League One. With the visitors also failing to record a victory against us during my life time, tonight is setup to be either a thriller or dull affair.
With such a record in recent years, the pressure will be well and truly on Millwall. Boosted with the return from injury of key player Steve Morison and defender Shaun Hutchinson, I’m anxiously hoping we can turn the corner so to speak, and come through the always important Christmas period with much needed wins.
Tonight is not a must win, the reward is exactly the same as the 45 other games we will play this season, however the downfall of a defeat against Charlton might have more of an effect now then any other time under Harris’ time in charge so far.
For the first time in a long while, pressure is well and truly on the shoulders of Neil Harris, with injuries a clear problem in recent weeks we are now close to what we might consider our strongest XI. Now is the time where Harris should be judged for his sides performances, most of these players are players Harris trusts to do the job required of challenging at the top of the table.
I’m personally still 100% backing Harris to succeed and restore the club to The Championship, however the split opinion between the fans is starting to grow in favour against the manager. As you’d rightly expect when we’re not playing as well as we should be, the only negative of Harris might just be his loyalty to some players, or perhaps his forced to work with what he has got at his disposal?
Focusing back on tonight’s game, I took to Twitter (be sure to follow if you don’t already!) and conducted a poll for each position of the starting XI and what we would like to see as a lineup for tonight’s game:
I think most will agree this is probably our strongest XI, knowing Harris and 4-4-2 being the formation he believes in. I don’t see formation as a cause to the issues we’ve had this season, it worked for us last season, so it’s a bit naive to nail formation down as a root cause this time around.
We’re close now to the best XI at our disposal, if this side still cannot go out and keep a clean sheet in a match over the Christmas period, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a defender or two arrive in the January transfer window.
But please Millwall, don’t lose this one…