Skip to main content Skip to site footer
Club News

Midfielder Williams hails team unity

Irishman reviews 2017/18...

16 May 2018

Shaun Williams has earmarked Millwall's dramatic 4-3 victory at Leeds United as the turning point in The Lions' Sky Bet Championship season.

In a mid-table position of consolidation but without an away win in 2017/18, Neil Harris' side made the journey to Elland Road looking to end their travelling hoodoo and seemed to be on their way to doing so after Aiden O'Brien and Lee Gregory's goals gave Millwall a 2-0 half-time lead against the 10-man Whites.

However, a stunning second half fightback from the home side turned the game on its head and put Leeds 3-2 up with just three minutes of normal time remaining.

The Lions' fighting spirit reared its head, though, with firstly Tom Elliott and then Jed Wallace - in the second minute of stoppage time - firing home to secure a priceless victory.

That success was the second game of a 17-match unbeaten run and also the first of six consecutive away League victories - equalling the club record set in 2009/10 under Kenny Jackett.

Speaking to millwallfc.co.uk, the Irishman stated that "belief" was gained from Elland Road.

"I think [that was the turning point], yeah," he stated. "We started the game great, got pegged back, went 3-2 down, but then finished strong and won. I think everyone took belief from that and used it for the rest of the season."

As is common knowledge, Millwall were widely tipped to make an instant return to League One after winning the Play-Offs in 2016/17 but ended up surprising many, finishing eighth and briefly flirting with the Play-Off places.

The midfielder had to watch on for a chunk of the campaign after picking up an injury in September's 2-1 victory over Reading, but still went on to make 40 appearances, scoring two goals - one of them being the final strike of the season in May's 1-0 success over Aston Villa.

"At the start of the season we were just looking to consolidate our position in the League," added Williams. "From the first game of the season (at Nottingham Forest), we built on that and got stronger as we went along.

"I don't think anyone thought about getting inside the Play-Offs until we were just outside them, but unfortunately we didn't end up staying in them.

"It was frustrating to be watching on the sidelines, but luckily enough I got back in good time and really enjoyed the season as a whole."

The camaraderie and team spirit has been clear for all to see in 2017/18 and was a main factor in The Lions' remarkable campaign.

The club's form has lead to multiple international call-ups, with Williams being the latest. The midfielder will look to pull on the green shirt of Republic of Ireland for the very first time as the nation faces friendlies against Celtic, France and USA in late May/early June.

The 31-year-old is looking forward to next season, but was wary of the need to be realistic in Millwall's second season back in The Championship.

"The main aspect of it all is that we're all friends. There's no bad eggs, nothing - everyone gets along with each other, has a laugh and brings that out onto the pitch. Everyone fights for each other and it showed in our performances.

"Everyone is together. If anyone is having a bad game, there's others there to help them out. There's no individual personal highlight for me.

"I don't think we can get too far ahead of ourselves. Hopefully we can have another good season next year and build on that again."


Advertisement block