Dave Martin has highlighted the joy amongst the Millwall squad after confirming Sky Bet Championship safety at the weekend.
The goalkeeper speaks of the relief in the camp, as we look to finish on a high in our final two games.
“We’re buzzing – securing safety was the aim at the beginning of the season, and we’ve done it with a couple of games to spare,” Martin says.
“It’s a relief for everyone. It’s been a pressurised seven weeks or so for me, but these lads have worked towards this all season, grinding out results like we did on Saturday.”
Martin commends the way Neil Harris’ team have defended as a unit throughout the season, picking up several clean sheets in recent weeks.
“In the last three or four weeks, the main thing is we’ve been hard to beat. We ground out points, particularly at home, and it’s been a case all season – it’s not just the last couple of weeks – it’s West Brom at home, Aston Villa at home, it’s a marathon and not a sprint.
“The results all season are what has got us to the point of safety. As I say, I’ve only been in the side over the past few weeks, but the team work really hard defensively.
“We have people behind the scenes like Adam Barrett, who does the defensive work with the lads, and the defenders have been excellent. Along with that, Gregs [Lee Gregory] has worked excellently from the top and that filters through the whole team. It’s a real team effort to be hard to beat, and that’s what we’ve done.”
Coming into the starting XI and keeping a clean sheet away at Birmingham City in March, Martin has since made nine straight appearances and says he is relishing the first-choice opportunity.
“I’ve loved the last few weeks. When I came here two years ago, I knew Jordan [Archer] earned a lot of credit and it was going to be hard to displace him.
“But I wanted my chance. I made my League debut at Aston Villa last season and thought I did alright, but I understand why Jordan kept his place as he was playing really well.
“It was a long time before I played consecutive games, but now I’m so pleased to get my opportunity and I say fair play to the gaffer, as it takes a lot of courage to bring a player in who hasn’t played for so long.”
With six Championship points still to play for, Martin highlights the importance of finishing the season strongly and claims the winning mentality of the fans is a big reason why he adores playing his football at The Den.
“For me, finishing on a high is massive. I want to win every time I step foot onto a football pitch, and you can feel that from the supporters too – that’s why I love this club so much.
“Everything means something here. It’s our last home game, we want to go out on a high, and that should hopefully kickstart us for next year.”