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Leonard: "Saturday was brilliant for the fans"

Midfielder reflects on first return to Bramall Lane and looks ahead to Brentford

15 April 2019

Ryan Leonard has discussed Millwall’s dramatic late recovery at Bramall Lane on Saturday as The Lions secured a point against Sheffield United with Jake Cooper’s last-gasp equaliser to remain two points clear of the Sky Bet Championship relegation zone.

Leonard starred in the full contest on his first return to South Yorkshire since departing for The Den in August, and claims Neil Harris’ men deserved a share of the spoils.

“It was one hell of a game,” the midfielder told millwallfc.co.uk.

“I don’t know where to start really because Coops has got one in the last minute for us, but I think we deserved to get something from the game with the way we played.

“All the way through the game we limited them to a few chances, and created some ourselves, so overall it was a great day for the lads and for the fans especially.”

Leonard highlights the key nature of keeping the belief late on, as The Lions pressed and capitalised on the man advantage caused by John Egan’s straight red card.

“They’re up towards the top of the division, so we have to show them some respect going to their place, but we matched them quite well.

“Obviously, they started the second half really well and got the goal, and we just had to hang in there for a little bit. As the game went on, they started to get a bit nervy and we came into our own.

“T [Tom Elliott] had a couple of great headers and there was of course the late penalty, and whilst it was disappointing not to score that, we had to remember that they’d lost a man as well as conceding the penalty – we knew if we kept pushing on then there would always be a chance.”

The former Blade reflects on the moment Cooper headed home, and says it is thoroughly deserved for the travelling supporters who have followed the team during the season.

“[The end of the game] showed the togetherness and the team spirit that we can come to places like Sheffield United and get a great result.

“It was mad when it went in. T obviously took the header and we were just hoping the rebound would fall to someone. We’ve conceded enough late goals this season, so it was nice to get one of our own.

“It was brilliant for the fans who we celebrated with at the end, and they deserve it when they travel the whole country to watch us. At the start of the season, our away form was awful and they stuck with us in every game, so hopefully they enjoyed that one.”

Leonard finally calls on the fans to continue their much-needed backing upon the side’s return to The Den this Good Friday (1pm), as we take on Thomas Frank’s Brentford in the first of three crucial remaining home fixtures.

“We need everyone at The Den on Friday as they have been this season.

“It’s a massive game against Brentford, a slightly earlier kick-off as well, and we need to take the three points.

“It’s going to be a tough game – they’ve got some good players and play the ball really well, so we need to get The Den rocking and get the win we need.”


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