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    Championship run-in preview #10: Millwall : Championship

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    Club: Millwall

    Manager: Gary Rowett

    Current table position:

    Position P W D L GF GA GD PTS
    8 37 13 15 9 44 40 4 54

    How the season has gone so far:

    After a poor start to the season under Neil Harris, it looked like this season would be another season where we’d struggle to stay up, with some of the most unambitious and painful football under his reign. After a dire draw away at Luton which epitomised all that was wrong with our style of play, Harris resigned and would soon be replaced with Gary Rowett.

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    Under Rowett, our fortunes turned dramatically and we’ve started to see a more tactically astute style of play with the results to back it up. A blistering run of form saw us reach the last playoff spot against Luton on New Years Day which we’ve had our eye on ever since.

    A difficult run of games saw us lose a bit of momentum, however, a 3-0 win at Forest just before the season was postponed left us just two points away from 6th, well in the mix for a surprise playoff spot.

    An absolute rocket of a free kick from Jed Wallace

    Another win in the most one sided derby

    Our most recent game, a comfortable 3-0 against Forest

    Key Stat of the season:

    Had the season began when Rowett took over, we would currently be 5th in the table. Under Rowett we really do seem to be a playoff team, defying expectations when compared with how poor we were during the start of this season and last season

    Any news from the season break?:

    We’ve had a relatively quiet break compared to some teams, managing to keep our loanees Molumby, Bennett and Woods. With no players leaving, the biggest news is Jake Cooper’s new contract, a player who’s played every minute in the league both this and last season.

    How will you fare financially in the future?:

    It’s a tough one to call, noises from inside the club tend to be as positive as they can and we pretty much broke even last season. We might be able to keep Jed Wallace this summer if the rumoured interest goes quiet or the offers made are lower due to the financial impact. We’ll fare better than other clubs, but the situation is still far from ideal.

    Expected lineup and tactics for the run-in:

    Predicted lineup

    For once, we’re a tactically flexible team. We primarily switch between a 5-2-3 and a 4-4-2, sometimes also playing a 4-2-3-1. Our lineup and our formations will differ heavily based on the opponent we face, so it’s difficult to predict.

    The only real area of change will be up front and in midfield. Bradshaw and Smith offer very different styles of play up front, one more creative and the other more direct. Meanwhile, in midfield both Thompson and Leonard are returning from injury, I’d expect Thompson to return to the lineup soon as he was a key player for us before getting injured in December.

    Remaining fixtures:

    Derby (H), Barnsley (A), Swansea (H), Charlton(A), Middlesbrough (H), Hull(A), Blackburn (H), QPR (A), Huddersfield (H)

    A mix of the teams in the mix for that last playoff spot and teams struggling with survival, it’s a fixture list that could go either way. We historically struggle against relegation threatened teams, so it’s something we’ll have to fix if we are to have a chance of making 6th.

    Best case scenario:

    We hit the ground running and have a good run of results which gets us into the playoffs. From there who knows, we can beat any team on our day, so an upset could be on the cards.

    Worst case scenario:

    We drop off into mid table and fall away from playoff contention, which isn’t the end of the world. Whatever happens now, we’ve got a very solid base to go again next season.

    Prediction:

    7/8th: I think we’ll fall just short, lacking that extra bit of ruthlessness needed to finish in the playoffs. Some teams will be more suited to behind closed door games, while we thrive on an atmosphere more than most teams. That may prove to be our downfall in the run in.

    Social media/other shithousery:

    Apart from the da’s shaming themselves in counter BLM protests recently, we’ve had a quiet break. The closest to controversy we’ve got is on loan player Mason Bennett riling Derby fans by recording himself going past Pride Park saying ‘fucking burn’

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