Ryan Leonard has spoken in glowing terms of both his teammates and the Millwall supporters ahead of Wednesday night’s hosting of Queens Park Rangers at The Den (kick-off 7.45pm).
The midfield man played a starring role for The Lions in last weekend’s 2-0 victory over West Bromwich Albion, and describes his team’s display as a “great performance”.
“Last Saturday was a great performance as a team, and as a football club in general,” Leonard told millwallfc.co.uk.
“It was a really good day for us, obviously with a massive club like West Brom coming to The Den, it was a massive atmosphere from the fans and the lads put in a great display.”
Leonard denies that the high spirits around Calmont Road have dipped at any stage throughout the campaign, claiming the squad can benefit from the positive mindset by completing this term’s Sky Bet Championship survival mission.
“The mood around the camp is really good, and to be honest that hasn’t changed all season.
“We’ve hit bad form at times and lost games that we really shouldn’t have lost, but the spirit has never changed – everyone has stayed really positive.
“I think that’s the biggest thing we need to continue – the only way we’ll get out of this battle is by sticking together.”
QPR make the trip across London to SE16 having come off the back of a 4-0 defeat at League leaders Norwich City, still without a permanent manager and currently under the interim spell of John Eustace – something Leonard argues is no necessary advantage to The Lions.
“I think sometimes it can be even tougher facing a side that doesn’t have a manager.
“Players might have more to prove than they did before, knowing they have to perform with a new manager about to come in.
“It will be a great atmosphere and a great game, and it’s quite obvious in the League table that we both really need the points.”
Neil Harris’ men sit one point above the drop zone going into the meeting, with The Hoops four points ahead of Millwall having played a game more.
“I think it would be impossible to suggest that no one looks at the table,” says Leonard.
“You have to look at the table – we are where we are, and we have to go and get the points. We know where we have to go to get points and what we need.
“They might feel that a win can pull them clear, and obviously for us a win brings them back into it.”
The 26-year-old finally commends the impact of the home support during the season and claims the side must continue to “give the fans something to shout about”.
“The supporters have been really important all season.
“Our Cup run was a prime example – looking at how the fans drove us on for the four ties we had.
“They’ll be massive again tomorrow, it’s of course a derby, and we had a disappointing performance and defeat at their place. We need to give the fans something to shout about back at The Den again.”