Alex Pearce has reflected on the past four months since arriving at Millwall in the January transfer window.
The centre-half, who joined the club on loan from Derby County for the second half of the season, became a mainstay at the heart of Neil Harris’ defence and led by example as The Lions secured Sky Bet Championship survival.
“I’ve loved being here at Millwall since I arrived,” Pearce told millwallfc.co.uk.
“From the lads to the management team and the fans, everyone has made me feel really welcome and it’s really pleasing to have been able to help the club to safety.
“We’re really glad to secure Championship football for this club for next year, and I’m so glad to have been a part of that.”
Pearce was an integral part of the side to reach the last eight of the Emirates FA Cup – heading home the opener in The Lions’ Quarter-Final tie against Brighton & Hove Albion at The Den.
The 30-year-old discusses the journey, claiming the team gave a “great account” of themselves.
“The Cup run was fantastic – the FA Cup is a great competition which we all love.
“It created a feel-good factor around the club and we represented ourselves really well. We gave a great account of ourselves, and could – and probably should – have reached the Semi-Finals.
“But it’s possible that you could look on that as a blessing in disguise, as we started to pick up some decent results in the League. In hindsight, we achieved what we wanted to achieve.”
Despite being a loanee at The Den, Pearce was regularly granted the responsibility of captain duties in the final months of the campaign, an experience he is grateful to the boss for.
“I’ll always look to pass my experience on – if I can help anyone in any way, I’ll always do that.
“For the manager to show that faith and trust in me has been a great feeling, we all want to be believed in as players. For him to do that for me has been fantastic.
“I was more than happy and grateful to accept the responsibility.”
With the Republic of Ireland international fast becoming a fan favourite in South London, Pearce says his future will soon be assessed.
“Obviously now that the season has finished, we need to have a break and a mental rest, have a holiday and then just assess everything and take it from there.
“As I say, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time here so far, thoroughly enjoyed Millwall Football Club and it’s a great place to be.
“The lads are a great group with a great team spirit, and I’m really pleased to have been a part of it this season.”