Lions defender primed for "high-stakes" trip to Gillingham
Shaun Hutchinson admits his pain at losing the centre-back position may have been Millwall's long-term gain.
The 26-year-old was hindered by injury early in 2017, paving the way for loanee Jake Cooper to slip into the back line.
"It's been frustrating not being in the team," Hutchinson told millwallfc.co.uk
"I have had to work hard to get back into the team and that may have driven up the competition for positions. We all have to work hard because in the back of your mind you know that if you slip up or have an off day there's someone else waiting to come in. That keeps us sharp.
"There's three of us now fighting for that centre-back role and that can only be good for the team. We are all pushing each other and snapping at each other's heels."
Hutchinson has excelled since being recalled to the starting side a week ago; helping Millwall claim a valuable three points against play-off rivals Scunthorpe before scoring the decisive goal against Shrewsbury Town on Tuesday night.
"It's been brilliant to come back into the team and get back to back wins," he added.
"Getting the goal against Shrewsbury put us ahead and allowed us to win the game. I'm just happy I could contribute at both ends."
Millwall can return to the top six with a win at Gillingham this weekend and will be backed by more than two thousand travelling Lions supporters.
"It's a bit of a derby and i'm sure that a big Millwall following will spur us on. It's a big game for us because we can move into the play-off positions and the sooner we can do that the better."
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