"It's up to us now to re-gather, push on and get into the top half of the table" - that's the view of Millwall's Jed Wallace ahead of the 2019/20 Sky Bet Championship campaign.
The winger, who scored five times in 48 appearances in all competitions this season, spoke to millwallfc.co.uk prior to the club's End of Season Awards Night on Tuesday 7th May and looked back over an "up and down" campaign on a individual and collective level.
The 25-year-old was typically open and honest when detailing the difficulty of maintaining second-tier status, but also stressed how the campaign has acted as a "reality check" for everyone involved.
"As a changing room, following on from the huge success of last season, we knew that it would be difficult with the expectation - and rightly so. We had a great last year, and on reflection, we've realised how far we've come as a group of players, staff and management in the last four years.
"We were 30 seconds away from an FA Cup Semi-Final, and surviving in The Championship has been deemed as a disappointing season. It does feel like that, but the bigger picture is that given the size of the club, given the size of teams in this League, us staying up - especially in the second season - was always going to be difficult. It's up to us now to re-gather, push on and get into the top half of the table.
"It is easy to forget how big this division is. Clubs like Nottingham Forest and Sheffield Wednesday have got nowhere near the Play-Offs in the last two or three years - huge, huge sides that should be dwarfing the likes of Millwall. That's nothing against us - I love it here, and everyone knows this is a special place to play football - but for me, it's a reality check.
"I think we all needed it. Looking back at the season, we've thrown away perhaps 10-15 points in some games. If we would've secured those points, we would've ended up around 13th or 14th, which is where we should've been, but we ended up in a dogfight. We ended up pulling together and surviving, though."
Whilst the club may have ultimately come up short in matches against the top sides, the competitive nature of fixtures against the likes of Norwich City, Sheffield United, Leeds United, Aston Villa and more showed that The Lions can mix it with the best the division has to offer - a sentiment that Wallace echoed before going on to discuss personal highlights and form from the season.
"We went toe-to-toe with all the big teams in the League, we need to find those levels again. Personal highlights for me include team-mates like David Martin, Shane Ferguson and Ben Thompson coming back from the wilderness and excelling. That's what you want to see - people that have been written off bouncing back, that is what Millwall is all about.
"My form has been up and down, really. I've had a few good games where I've felt really sharp, but also a few games where I've not felt so good. I hit the ground running last season - I probably had 40 good games out of 45 - but that's not happened this year. It's about consistency and reaching levels where I can do as much as I can week in, week out.
"I'm always looking to improve and there are plenty of players here that want to do the same, and ensure they're at this level at the minimum."
Initially joining the club on loan in January 2016, Wallace has now completed his second season at the club since signing permanent terms - and is already looking towards the new campaign.
"It's going to be a bit of a mental summer for me with my partner due to give birth, but when pre-season training begins, it's all about pushing on, playing Championship football, getting people through the door and turning over some big teams again."