Shaun Hutchinson claims there is a lot of promise to build on for the Millwall team for the remainder of pre-season, following The Lions’ 2-1 defeat at Southend United on Wednesday night.
Hutchinson captained the side at Roots Hall, and gave his analysis of the 90 minutes.
“First and foremost, it’s never nice to lose a game of football as we have done,” the defender says.
“There were certain parts in the game that I thought we played really well. The gaffer spoke to us at half-time and I thought we came out well at the start of the second half, playing some nice football and creating chances.
“We got a bit sloppy and then I thought we lost our way a little bit, and it’s gutting not to win because you always want to win games of football. But there are a lot of things we can work on and I’m sure the gaffer will look at that, and we can go from there.”
Hutchinson examined how his fitness was progressing with the demands of the season fast approaching, explaining that he kept himself in shape over the off-season.
“I’m raring to go, I feel really good and really fit.
“I got myself into good shape during the summer, and I feel I’ve really kicked on in this pre-season. I’m enjoying it so far, and I’m where I want to be fitness-wise.
“There’s still a bit to go performance-wise, but I’m happy at the moment overall with where I am.”
The Lions quickly turn their attentions to hosting La Liga outfit Real Sociedad at The Den this Saturday afternoon, and Hutchinson is confident the side can match their Spanish opponents.
“Every year since I’ve been here, the manager has brought in foreign opposition of good quality to face us, who like to play good football.
“We usually turn up well and deal with the different types of opponents, and I’m sure the gaffer will pick an XI good enough to get a result and do well.
“We need to stand ourselves in good stead for the start of the season.”
The 28-year-old is now looking forward to the squad picking up the pace in terms of fine-tuning tactical work ahead of the Championship curtain-raiser against Preston North End on August 3rd.
“I think the brunt of the physical work is probably done as far as pre-season is concerned now.
“It looks to be slowly moving towards work on the pitch and tactical things – it was a set-piece that we were undone from here. That’s something we’re not happy about and will look at.
“These are the sorts of things you work on in the final week of pre-season and make sure they’re alright for the start of the campaign.”
Finally, Hutchinson claims he feels the squad have given Neil Harris plenty of food for thought ahead of choosing his starting side to face Preston.
“All of us have done what we can to give the manager the hardest decision possible with selecting his team.
“If he’s gone to bed not knowing who to pick on a Saturday, we’ve done our job.
“But I’m pretty sure he’ll have in his mind already what he believes is right, and we’ll just have to wait and see what’s going on.”