THEY say a week is a long time in football. In Millwall’s case, try a month.
Four weeks ago, the Lions were suffering sleepless nights fretting about relegation.
Fast forward to now, five wins on the bounce later, and they could finish as high as 15th with another three-point haul tomorrow.
It has been a remarkable turnaround in fortunes for Kenny Jackett’s men, who are in their second season in the Championship after finishing ninth 12 months ago.
Under-pressure and struggling at the start of April, they have been sensational since, beating Ipswich, Coventry, Leicester, Portsmouth and Hull.
Ian Holloway could be forgiven for hoping they relax tomorrow.
Alas Jackett, who surely has the manager of the month prize in the bag, has other ideas.
He has challenged his side to finish their season on a high by recording yet another win, with the added incentive of finishing above south London rivals Crystal Palace.
The Lions boss said: “It was a super result at Ipswich last weekend (Millwall won 3-0). We are in a rich vein of form and long may it continue.
“The gap between us and the bottom three, which has looked tight for much of the season, is now a good one.
“Now we want to finish our season strongly. Our last home performance is important because if you do well it can give people optimism for next season.
“I was always confident of staying up, although as a manager you’re always looking over your shoulder and always aware.
“We’ve found the right team formula at the end of the season. Our away form, especially, has been excellent.”
Andy Keogh has played a major role in Millwall’s surge up the table. The 25-year-old, whose lethal partnership with Billy Sharp at Scunthorpe led to a big-money move to Wolves, joined on loan in January.
He has had quite an impact, scoring nine goals in 16 starts, including a brace in Saturday’s win over Ipswich.
He will be partnered up front by 18-year-old Harry Kane, another who joined on loan in the transfer window and who has been almost as influential as Keogh.
Kane, a striker at Tottenham, has hit six goals in 18 starts and said: “Millwall is a great club with great fans and I’ve loved it.
“If Tottenham want to allow me back on loan next season, I’ll be delighted but I’ll see what happens.”
The strike duo’s success means that Darius Henderson, top scorer with 15 goals, is unlikely to start, despite declaring himself fit after missing the last five games with a calf problem.
Watch out for midfielder Liam Trotter. The powerful 23-year-old has seven goals this season and is interesting a host of Premier League clubs.
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