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"I couldn't wait to take the opportunity," says Robinson

Lions legend speaks on his return to The Den...

13 September 2019

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Paul Robinson is back at The Den - and enjoying life on the other side of the touchline.

The former defender made 361 appearances for The Lions in his playing career, scoring 23 goals, and secured his legendary status in 2010 as he captained Millwall to a League One Play-Off Final victory over Swindon Town at Wembley Stadium.

These days, however, the ex-skipper is back at the club in a coaching capacity, assisting Kevin Nugent and his Under 23 side in the Professional Development League.

As caught up with 'Robbo' during September's international break, the 37-year-old spoke of his delight in returning to South London, following a career which took him to Portsmouth - where he worked under former Lions boss Kenny Jackett - AFC Wimbledon and Havant & Waterlooville.

"It's great to be back, I've enjoyed every day," he said. "It's slightly strange being the new guy in a place I know so well, but it's brilliant to be back - there's a real good feeling about the club and I'm enjoying getting stuck into the work.

"My biggest role is assisting Kev and helping out, and also, in the meantime, I get out and about at weekends, watching games and looking at potential new recruits. I work on both of those and building my experience on the coaching side of things. Kevin is a brilliant person for me to learn from, he has been incredibly generous with his time and advice.

"I'm under no illusions now that this is a new career for me and that I am starting from the bottom. The opportunity to come back to the club came up, and I couldn't wait to take it."

Millwall's Under 23s have started the season well, losing just once and remaining unbeaten at home after last week's 1-0 victory over Sheffield United at The Den.

The fruits of the youth set-up have been seen recently, with Billy Mitchell and the red-hot George Alexander featuring in The Lions' last game of the 2018/19 campaign at Wigan Athletic, with Jesse Debrah and Danny McNamara - currently on loan at Newport County - also featuring in the squad. Mitchell was also handed his full debut in a Carabao Cup tie at Oxford United last month.

Robinson added: "We've got a really good group of characters and players, and it has been nice to get to work with them and see them develop. They're eager to learn, and we've seen the likes of Billy get his chance in the first team already this season. The make up of everything is good, we're really pleased with how everything is coming together and I think it is going to be a good season for them."

With regards to the future, the former Torquay loanee is open to suggestions - and leans on the advice of former team-mates Neil Harris and David Livermore, now The Lions' first-team manager and assistant, for advice.

"I pick Neil's brains a lot - it's different coming back after a while and seeing how he and Livers have changed and grown into their roles. I always believed that Chopper was going to become the Millwall manager - and a very good one, too - and I'm not surprised to see his success.

"I'm still learning, I can't say for sure what I would definitely like to do in the future, so perhaps it will still take a while to determine where I will end up. I'm loving the coaching at the moment, though - I've got four good centre-halves in the 23s to work with, but it is nice to be in and around the club and the management side of things, learning and enjoying being back at Millwall."

Watch our full interview with Paul Robinson above.

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