Millwall defender Shaun Hutchinson says the team were ‘devastated’ after Middlesbrough’s late comeback at The Den last weekend but is confident they can respond well in Saturday’s first away trip against Blackburn Rovers (3pm).
Hutchinson claims The Lions ‘dominated’ Tony Pulis’ side before conceding two late goals for a share of the spoils, and says the positive mindset of the squad can help the club to success this season.
“[Middlesbrough] was a tough one to take,” Hutchinson states.
“The boys in the dressing room were absolutely devastated after the game. We couldn’t believe it because we’ve seen out leads like that so many times, we’re usually pretty good at it.
“Maybe it was a lack of concentration, but it was a tough one to take.”
The 27-year-old remains assured going into the weekend clash, taking positives from the Boro’ game.
“During the game I thought ‘we’re playing well here’, starting the season how we finished the last.
“We were up against a tough Boro’ team, but as the gaffer said, it was men against boys as we dominated them for 87 minutes.
“To be caught like that was a real blow but we have to pick ourselves up and push on now, as it’s only one game.”
Hutchinson says the approach of the team has kicked up a notch since last season, after a remarkable campaign back in the Sky Bet Championship.
“I think there’s a different mentality this year. Last season it was about trying to compete and get points wherever we could. But now we’ve shown what we’re capable of, we look at games, try to win them, and if we don’t then we’re disappointed.
“I think last season, we would have been happy with a draw no matter how the game went.
“Like I’ve said, we need to pick ourselves up and look for the three points in the next game, as we obviously don’t want to wait until Christmas for our first away win this year – so we’re looking to get that as soon as possible.”
Tony Mowbray’s Blackburn, who began their return to the second tier with a 2-2 draw at Ipswich Town, earned promotion with an impressive 96 points last campaign, and Hutchinson is relishing what he expects to be a challenging 90 minutes.
“It always is [a tough task]. They’ve got that winning mentality from getting promoted last season, and I think that’s sometimes more important than lots of good players. When they have that mentality and know what it takes to get a win, it’ll be a tough game and we’re looking forward to it.
“You saw what that first win did to us last year, getting rid of that mental block that we couldn’t get it. Last year we were dependent on our home form, so we want to be picking up the results away from home.
“We want that first win, the sooner the better, and then we can push on.”