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Romeo looking forward to "bigger challenge" next season

The right-back mulls over 2017/18...

11 May 2018

Mahlon Romeo claims that the credit for Millwall's outstanding 2017/18 Sky Bet Championship should be shared between everyone at the club.

The right-back missed a chunk of the first half of the season due to the form of summer signing Conor McLaughlin, but returned to the fray in December and nailed down a place in a side that stormed up the table, narrowly missing out on a place in the Play-Offs.

Scoring one goal in 31 appearances - which could have been two had a strike at Reading not been officially given as an own goal - Romeo's season was abruptly ended in the first half at Middlesbrough on 28th April - a injury that also forced him to miss the final-day victory over Aston Villa at The Den.

Speaking to millwallfc.co.uk, the 22-year-old revelled in proving the doubters wrong, also stating that January's 4-3 victory at Leeds United was "the pivotal moment" in The Lions' campaign.

"I think [the season has] been amazing. A lot of people wrote us off before it had even started. Even in the early part of it, we were still seeing that we were going to struggle. But we've proven everyone wrong - credit goes to the players, the manager and the club as a whole to get in the position we've got in.

"As a team, as soon as we got that first away win at Leeds we knew the floodgates would open. When you look at the timing of that result, when you look at the games before then and the games after then, you could say that was the pivotal moment, the turning point. It was a great game - I know the fans really enjoyed it. We made hard work of it even though we did get the win in the end. It gave us a lot of confidence and drive to go into the second part of the season."

Before his resurgence, Romeo was restricted to just four appearances in 2017/18 - two in the EFL Cup and two brief substitute displays at Preston North End and Fulham.

However, the right-back took his place in the side on 2nd December against Sheffield United and didn't look back, putting in a Man of the Match performance and scoring in The Lions' 3-1 win over The Blades.

Along with Young Player of the Year Jake Cooper, MSC Player of the Year Shaun Hutchinson and James Meredith, who featured in every Sky Bet Championship game, the back four went on to form the base of six consecutive away League victories - a record equalled for the first time since 2009/10, when Kenny Jackett's side were on their way to winning the League One Play-Offs.

After making 40 appearances in the third tier last season, the right-back had to wait for his chance in 2017/18, but took on the "challenge" of slotting straight in after months on the bench.

"Personally, I knew the step up was going to be another challenge for me, but that's something I've had to deal with throughout my whole career. But I was ready for it, I knew it was coming and I knew I'd get the chance eventually - I had to keep working hard, adjust for each game and make sure I took it.

"[During the away run] the camaraderie was great. Everyone gets along and we were really close as a team. Not just me and the back four but the whole squad, playing or not playing."

Millwall temporarily flirted with sixth spot towards the end of their 17-match unbeaten run but were to unfortunately miss out on a place in the Play-Offs due to defeats against fellow promotion hopefuls Fulham and Middlesbrough.

Looking ahead to 2018/19, the Antigua and Barbuda international claimed that any attempts to repeat - or beat - that feat will present a "bigger challenge," but everyone is looking forward to it when pre-season training begins on 25th June.

"I think we've got to try and at least match what we've done this year and then try to go even further. It's going to be a bigger challenge, however, because people know what we're about and what we're capable of. But everyone is looking forward to it.

"I'm looking forward to my career going from strength to strength. That's what I'm expecting and that's what I'm looking forward to. It's another challenge and I'm going to enjoy it."


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