Shaun Williams says the Millwall squad are embracing the new training routines masterminded by Gary Rowett and his staff, as The Lions prepare to contest Saturday's local Sky Bet Championship derby at The Den against Charlton Athletic.
The sold-out fixture on Saturday afternoon will be Rowett’s third at the helm, following victory over Stoke City and last weekend’s loss at Reading.
“Training has been bubbly, obviously with a lot of new messages from the new staff,” Williams said to millwallfc.co.uk.
“It’s been pretty positive despite the defeat last week which is important. I’ve enjoyed the new approach, it’s of course different in some ways to what we’ve had before, and it’s something we’re definitely enjoying.”
The Irishman played in The Lions’ last League meeting with Charlton, coming in January 2017, and he is certainly one who knows the full meaning of a contest on home soil with the neighbours.
“I’m absolutely buzzing for Saturday, as is everyone else. A sell-out crowd will definitely work in our favour, and I’m really looking forward to it,” Williams explains.
“During this week we’ve kind of drilled that into a few of the lads, the fact that it is a local derby and we need to be at our most competitive. They’ve probably got a good taste already of what it’s like to play in front of a big crowd at The Den.
“The fans are huge for us – they’ve been with us throughout the year, so they’ll definitely be behind us on Saturday and it’s going to be a good one.
At 33, Williams is the most senior outfield player in The Lions’ squad at present, and has to an extent played a key mentoring role so far this campaign, helping with the bedding-in process of on-loan fellow Irish midfielder, Jayson Molumby.
Molumby – skipper of the Republic of Ireland Under 21 side – has previously spoken highly of his compatriot, and Williams is equally complimentary of the youngster’s attributes on and off the pitch.
“Jayson’s a good lad. I’ve got no complaints about him, even if he is a bit daft sometimes!
“But he is a good kid and one who I think will flourish the more games he plays.
“He seems very comfortable on the ball, and has bundles of energy which balances out with me a little bit! I’m 13 years his senior, and I played with an older pro as a young player, so I’ll help him in any way I can and he’ll continue to look to impress.”
Williams finally touches on how The Addicks have taken advantage of promotion momentum much in the same way as Millwall two years ago, which The Lions will look to halt on Saturday.
“Charlton have the momentum we did when we first came up, and their manager has done a great job with them so far.
“But it’s up to us to perform and to nullify them on Saturday.”