Ah yes, now we’re talking. None of that League Cup first round nonsense. Back to what really sends you into a frenzy if you get it right – an away game in League One after you’ve just won your opening match. That very specific scenario that we encounter every now and again.
Obviously there’s the potential for a hangover from our midweek defeat. As much as we can rationalise a penalty shootout loss, it may still wind a few players up, especially if they felt like they didn’t perform. But it really shouldn’t. In the grand scheme of what’s important this season, it didn’t mean anything.
All things considered, we had to disrupt a team that played terrifically well, yet still came from behind to draw a low-key match, before ultimately “losing” because our final penalty hit the bar. I’ll get over that; let’s hope the players give just as few monkeys and return to the mindset that led to such a blistering opening day performance.
With well over a thousand Sky Blue fans making the trip to The Den, it’s set to be a day of expectation and noisiness. If we were to take the 3 points on a day like today then there’s no getting away from it – excitement levels about the team will rise. And I’m ready for that.
How are they getting on?
Two games in and Millwall are trying their best to copy us. A decent victory in their opening game was swiftly quelled by an extra time defeat in the League Cup.
This is useful for us as it immediately negates any notion of “tiredness” that’ll offer itself as an excuse if we don’t match them for energy levels. Coventry City love a ready-made excuse so fortunately we can give that one the shove. We should be fine but if tiredness does kick in at any point, you’d bloody hope it hits both teams equally, lest their be big questions of us.
Their opening game against Shewsbury produced a stunning quick-fire turnaround having fallen behind early into the second half. Within four minutes they were back on terms, and 8 minutes later they struck home a penalty to take the lead that eventually earned them a very impressive away win.
Midweek didn’t go to plan for them however as they went behind once again, but this time taking an hour to grab an equaliser against Barnet. It wasn’t too dissimilar to our Tuesday night game story, although they cracked during extra time succumbing to a home defeat to a League Two side. Compare our two defeats and there’s some logic to suggest their confidence will have been dented far more than ours.
Who could cause us trouble?
Ex-Premiership striker Steve Morison clearly draws the eye, and with two goals in two games so far, a focus on the danger of his bustling presence is justified.
Also up front with him is Lee Gregory, a striker who had a competent goalscoring season last year following a prolific spell with Halifax Town. The former Sheffield Utd academy prospect took a little while to find his way in league football, but he’s a big old (not actually old) presence and is starting to understand how to utilise it.
Keep ’em peeled for Fred Onyedinma too, their very own 18 year old wunderkind who’s starting to make a bit of a name for himself.
Sky Blues team news
Rejoice – Adam Armstrong is back, and the club only last night supplemented the squad with another Premiership youngster in the form of Jacob Murphy from Norwich City. When you add Bryn Morris to that list, you start to get a feel for a squad that is starting to mould itself into a vagule competitive shape.
There’s no doubt Armstrong will be back the line up – the question mark will be around whether he finds himself in the middle or Mowbray fancies giving him another game on the right.
Tudgay grabbed the equaliser the other night which is great for all of use, and also poses another interesting question for Tone around just how much he wants to adjust our lineup in what’s likely to be a rugged match.
I have a feeling he may plump for Tudgay, with Lameiras possibly dropping down to the bench, just to give him a small. As much as he’s trying to protect James Maddison we’re not really in a position to be too choosy. The lucky thing with Maddison is that his impact off the bench can also prove pivotal, although we’re all keen to see as much of him as possible and I’m sure we will today.
Big Reda Johnson is primed to return and continue his centre back partnership with Ricketts. We’ll have to wait and see whether Willis joins the back four as well following his concussion. Aaron Phillips is an able deputy, but Jordan’s first choice at the moment and you’d expect to see him reintroduced if possible.
We’re still learning about this group of players. They showed last weekend what they’re capable of; the challenge comes when they’re asked to replicate it.
I have faith in them. Players like Armstrong showed more than enough to give us the belief that he was doing more than just riding off the back of the crowd. He’s not going to become slow overnight. Let’s get him moving early on and put the fear of God into their defence in the same way he did against Wigan.
But it’s early days, so I’ll hedge with my actual prediction. We could and should have victory in our sights, but being sensible, I’d say a draw wouldn’t be half bad.
Neil: Millwall 1 – 1 Coventry
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