Millwall started their pre-season campaign with a comfortable 4-0 win at Concord Rangers.
Goals from Shaun Williams, Ben Thompson, Reuben Duncan and Fred Onyedinma gave the Lions a comfortable win and first run out ahead of the trip to Portugal for which the Lions depart next Friday.
Here are some talking points as the Lions made a winning start to pre-season.
The return of Tom Bradshaw
Millwall signed Tom Bradshaw last summer, at the time he was the clubs record signing and there was a lot of hype around the former Barnsley striker. Unfortunately, he was unable to dislodge Lee Gregory as the main striker and only started twice before disaster struck. Neil Harris confirmed after Millwall had lost 4-3 at Norwich in November that the striker had a season ending injury and wouldn’t play until pre-season.
After all the recovery, tireless gym sessions and of course all that training on his own, Bradshaw is now fit and ready to take on the challenge of being Millwall’s main number 9 after the departure of Lee Gregory. It will be interesting to see how he and and Matt Smith work up front together as the start of new strike-force era at The Den begins.
Debuts for Matt Smith and Frank Fielding
Matt Smith was confirmed as a Millwall player on Monday after being linked with Millwall for some time. The striker was confident and looked assured on his first Millwall outing striking the bar with just his first touch. He was very lively in the opening stages and forced another opportunity but couldn’t get the better of the Concord keeper after being found by Jed Wallace.
Frank Fielding also made his Millwall debut, the 31 year old joined from Bristol City and he was called into action to keep a deflected effort out before making a very good stop to Deny Nouble when one on one with the striker. He also looked confident in his first 45 minutes in a Millwall shirt.
Throughout Neil Harris’s reign Millwall have predominantly played in a 4-4-2 formation and a very direct style of play. Towards the end of last season with Steve Morison and Tom Elliott struggling Harris switched to a 4-3-3 with Wallace and Ferguson playing either side of Gregory. However, the game at the Aspect Arena saw Millwall return to 4-4-2 and once again showed that it was effective. Could it just be that a new strike partnership could see the return of Harris’s favoured formation and style of play.
Lots of youth
This may have been because Millwall are lacking numbers right now. Nevertheless, eight under 23’s featured. Neil Harris said prior to the match that he would be taking all the senior players and those from the under 23’s who he feels have a chance of being in and around the first team this season. Every set of supporters loves to see the clubs youth getting a chance and that was certainly the case with Billy Mitchell, Danny McNamara, Tiensia, Sanford, Skeffington, Duncan, Harry Ransom and new signing Tyler Burey all getting the chance to show the manager what they can do.