Millwall were last in League One over 5 years ago, when they overcame Swindon in the play-off final to gain promotion back to the Championship. Back then players such as Steve Morison, Darren Ward, and current manager Neil Harris graced the Dens hallow turf. A few names from that sensational season have returned to the London club in order to steer them back on course, Jimmy Abdou is the only name to have stuck with the Lions, whereas Tony Craig has returned from a three year spell at cross city rivals Brentford, to be named captain as he embarks on another promotion push boyhood club.
Goals are always important to a promotion challenge, never mind the fans, and I’m not too sure where they are going to come from this year. Ricardo Fuller and Stefan Maierhofer have both departed the club leaving Lee Gregory and the returning John Marquis to lead the line. Gregory netted 8 times in his inaugural season with the Lions, meanwhile 23-year-old Marquis enjoyed a successful loan spell at League One Gillingham where he built a potent partnership with Cody McDonald, he will have to put all friendships behind him and focus on building his career with Millwall, starting with at least double figures for them this season.
Defensively the Lions certainly did not roar last season, 76 goals conceded in 46 games, a record that could only mean one thing, relegation. The addition of Tony Craig is bound to add heart and definite passion to the backline. If he can transfer this energy to his team mates anything can happen, but with a couple of big names leaving over the summer, it could be another unforgiving season on the Dens backline.
Overall, many of the current crop played Championship football last term. Ed Upson and Lee Martin will retain there places on the wing, but monstrous target man Stefan Maierhofer will be missed. His replacement John Marquis proved his worth for Gillingham last season, so will be expected by Neil Harris to repeat that success with his parent club. David Forde, who has made nearly 300 appearances for the club, will be the safe hands in goal, while the rearguard lined up in front of him doesn’t look quite as secure. Shaun Cummings didn’t settle into his new home after arriving from Reading last season, the drop down to League One could give him and other new arrivals the breathing room to establish themselves at the Den.