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Hutchinson "feeling good" ahead of Nottingham Forest showdown

Defender speaks ahead of Sky Bet Championship opener...

2 August 2017

Shaun Hutchinson has stated his pleasure at coming through Millwall's pre-season campaign injury-free and in good health.

The defender made 22 appearances in a first season with The Lions slightly blighted by injury, but the former Fulham man - speaking after the 3-0 win over Granada Club de Futbol at The Den last weekend - said of his delight at a "solid pre-season."

"The main thing in pre-season is to get yourself as fit as you can and stay injury-free," Hutchinson explained. "They're two things that I'm really feeling right now.

"I think I've had a pretty solid pre-season and I've come through it without any niggles, so now I'm looking forward to the proper season. I'm feeling good."

Lions boss Neil Harris said after the game that the XI which started against Granada may not necessarily be the starting line-up at the City Ground - but that fact is something the squad are well aware of, the defender told.

"You want to get as much game-time as possible, but the manager has said to us countless times that our places for Friday night aren't secure - it's up to us to make them ours. He's told the starting XI to keep their places, but also for the boys on the bench to come on and stake their claim.

"The main thing is to get the three points, so whatever the manager decides, we have to take."

With pre-season now out of the way, Millwall are thrust straight into League action, with a Carabao Cup tie against Stevenage at The Den sandwiched between Sky Bet Championship encounters with Nottingham Forest, Bolton Wanderers and Ipswich Town.

When asked about The Lions' hopes and aspirations for the season, the 26-year-old explained how the club wouldn't settle for a struggle.

"There's no denying The Championship is going to be a really tough challenge. It's a massive step up. A lot of teams at this level like to keep the ball and play out from the back, whilst the physical aspect will also be a bit higher.

"However, we have boys in the dressing room that are up for the battle and ready to give it a go. We do believe we can establish ourselves and not spend the year struggling. There's unity and a good bond between the lads in the dressing room and that will definitely help us."

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