Jed Wallace has claimed Millwall must ‘make our own luck’ in our upcoming games, touching on Saturday’s defeat at Reading in the build-up to our midweek clash with Wigan Athletic at The Den.
Neil Harris’ side were beaten 3-1 at the Madejski Stadium despite 26 efforts on goal – returning an unwelcome theme of picking up little from dominant matches so far this campaign.
“[Saturday] was probably up there with our best performances away from home this season,” Wallace says.
“We should have come away from it with some points but we’ve said that too many times this season.
“It’s easy to come in on Monday morning and look back on a game and say what could have been, but there have been games this season – particularly at home – where we’ve dominated in spells but not got the points we should have.
The wide midfielder states that it is vital for The Lions to revert to ‘the Millwall way’ in order to win more points and climb the Sky Bet Championship table.
“For us it’s about getting back to the clean sheet mentality that we showed last season, and to try and win games 1-0, the Millwall way.
“Under the manager, we’ve won plenty of games 1-0 and 2-0 – that’s what we need to aim for again.
“It suits the way we play to sit deep and hit teams on the counter-attack, but we’ve drifted away from that a bit at the moment.”
Wallace is defiant that the squad must now respond by improving in key areas which have previously cost them.
“I’ll speak to my dad after the game, and I’ve often said ‘I don’t know why we’ve lost, really’. We seem to have had some freak games. We played really well [on Saturday] in spells, had some great individual performances – the first goal we could maybe have stopped a cross for, but it was an unbelievable header.
“Then there was the penalty decision which went against us, and the third one was sloppy when we were pushing to draw level. These sorts of things happen, with little bits of luck that don’t go your way.
“We have to take that element of luck out of it by making our own luck, and being more ruthless in the final third. We’ve not been scoring the goals that we should be, myself included. We have two games now at The Den which we relish, and we can take some positives from Saturday into those.”
The 24-year-old claims his side have shown their ability in stages of games, but must now find the consistency throughout matches to see out leads and strong positions.
“[The points at stake] are massive. If you look at the fixtures, we’ve had tough games at The Den, which is even more disappointing because we should maybe have won every game.
“We’ve shown what a good team we are in spells of 20 and 30 minutes, and the manager has been stressing to us that we need to show it over the course of a full game, which we do need to.
“He and the staff set us up in the right way, and it’s up to us as a group to concentrate for 95 or 100 minutes, whatever it is, and get over the line for the points we deserve.
Wallace says it shows how the team are always giving 100%, as they bid to move on from a common habit of starting seasons slowly before racing into a run of form – referring back to his two loan spells at The Den in 2016 and 2017.
“I remember coming in on loan, when Millwall were 14th or 15th in League One, and for two years we ended up at Wembley. It’s typical for us to have a slow start – we obviously don’t plan for it, we give everything we can in training and on the pitch, and I think the supporters see that.
“That’s why I think they’re still so onside with us. They can see a group of men giving everything we can for the football club, and who aren’t quite getting the rub of the green at the moment.
“I’ve always maintained that in this situation at Millwall, with these players and this manager, we need big home games – we have two now, and we’re looking for six points.”