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Wallace: "There was a lot at stake for both teams"

Goalscorer reflects on Boxing Day victory over Reading

27 December 2018

Jed Wallace has expressed his delight to 'get over the line' against Reading at The Den on Wednesday afternoon.

The winger scored the only goal of the game after eight minutes with a neat strike from a free-kick, before The Royals suffered the loss of two players to red cards.

The three points moves Millwall out of the relegation places, and the man on target believes the victory was a deserved one.

"When we're in the position we're in, it's never going to be an easy game," Wallace says.

"There was a lot at stake for both teams, and we managed to get over the line in the end - like we said in the dressing room, it's about three points.

"We made difficult work of it at times, but we were probably the better team throughout the 90 minutes, had the better chances and thankfully picked up a big win."

Wallace claims dead-ball situations are high on the agenda on the training pitch for The Lions, and explains that his decision to go for goal was a late one.

"Yes, me and Fergie [Shane Ferguson] practice a lot - we get a lot of set-plays.

"I was planning to cross it, but the 'keeper gave me a yard at the near post at the last minute and luckily, it snuck in."

Reading's Tyler Blackett was shown a red card for a reckless challenge on Wallace shortly after the opening goal, with Leandro Bacuna dismissed in the dying minutes after an altercation with Shane Ferguson.

The 24-year-old states that it remains hard to face sides with a numerical disadvantage, as their workrate is forced to increase.

"It's difficult playing against 10 men, we saw that against Swansea this year and as well when we went a man down against Birmingham - we were probably the better team in the second half of that one.

"It gives the other team a lift, they push hard to cover the man down. But however many players they had on the pitch, it was massive to get the job done today."

Wallace was forced off injured late in the contest, explaining that a pain in his hamstring was the reason behind Neil Harris' withdrawal of the wide man.

"I had a tight hamstring, so it's a race against time with a lot of games at this time of year. But if I can play through the pain barrier like I did here, then I'll always do it. It's just a case of not causing any long-term damage.

"Luckily I managed to get 75 minutes, and now it's onto the next one."

The Lions now face another two quickfire games over the festive period, starting with our final match of 2018 against Nottingham Forest at The Den on Saturday.

"We have a lot of games over here [during the Christmas period] compared to abroad, but I love it," Wallace says.

"Boxing Day is one of the best days of the year for football, and it's maybe a good chance for a lot of people to get away from it all and get to the football over Christmas.

"We have to rest up as much as we can, really. I make sure my other half walks the dog so I don't have to do that!"

Wallace is confident that the squad can build on the victory, and can move onto better things in the second half of the campaign.

"We need to build on the result. I think we've overachieved under the manager in the last couple of years, and that's come back to bite us a little bit with some of the expectations.

"But on the flip-side of that, it was a massive win, which will hopefully act as a springboard to pick up more results in the new year. We've got ourselves in this position, and I trust every player and member of staff that we'll work hard to get out of it."

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