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We need to address away form, states Leonard

Midfielder speaks after opening account...

30 October 2018

Ryan Leonard scored his first Millwall goal on Saturday - but then stressed the importance of picking up points away from home in the Sky Bet Championship.

The Lions picked up their fourth - and third consecutive - home win of the campaign against basement side Ipswich Town on Saturday, with the midfielder delightfully lobbing Bartosz Bialkowski for the final goal in a 3-0 success, capping off a string of fine performances with a much-deserved strike.

The club's record signing, initially on loan from Sheffield United until January, threatened the goal earlier on in the game, but finally registered in the 70th minute.

After the game, he told millwallfc.co.uk: "I've had enough shots already! I thought I'd scored in the first half with a volley, but it was nice that it dropped to me and I managed to help it over the goalkeeper and the defender.

"It put the game out of sight and killed them off as well, which in the bigger picture is what we needed, and it got us the three points."

Boss Neil Harris called the performance against The Tractor Boys "professional," stating that despite Millwall not being at their best, victory was still secured with relative ease - and that was something Leonard echoed. 

"Professional is a good word to use. I don't think we played great, to be honest. In the last four or five games we've played a lot better, but today we were professional. We didn't get going to our normal selves, but we scored at good times and killed the game quite well. It was a great result."

The second goal in the win, meanwhile, came from a long throw by the midfielder, which was flicked on by Jake Cooper and touched home by Lee Gregory - a combination that the 26-year-old lauded as a "threat." 

"Coops is very important - I think he enjoys heading it more than kicking it, to be honest, so it works quite well! He's a good focal point to have along with the other players we've got up there.

"I think it's another way we can use set-pieces to our advantage. We're a massive threat from them all. If I can put a long throw into the box it causes havoc, and it did again [on Saturday]. It was nice to get that goal just after half-time, which is what the manager wanted."

With three consecutive home victories under their belts, The Lions will now attack two tricky away fixtures at Brentford and Norwich City.

Leonard expressed that whilst the home form is important to maintain in making The Den a fortress once more, the away form must come under scrutiny in the club's bid to keep advancing up the League table.

"Our home form needs to be at it. Every home game the fans have been at it, which means the boys are, too. I can't imagine any away team enjoys playing here. We're on top of teams, we like to play in their half and when they're on the ball we hunt them down.

"As a home team and a home players, it's a great place to play.

"We do need to sort out our away form, though. We know as players that it's not been good enough. Not just results, but performances, other than Nottingham Forest, in which I thought we played really well. That's reflected in the fact we haven't got enough points on the board.

"It's something we need to address - we've got some time now to do that and make ourselves hard to beat and pick up some points."


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