DAVE CUSACK, who is battling to keep his place in the Millwall team, could he
on the move. The defender, who interested Brighton a few weeks ago and
they could he back now that the Ken Armstrong deal is dead, is being
watched by a few clubs, including Doncaster and Plymouth. It would he
ironic if Cusack replaced Lindsay Smith at the West Country club.
However, Cusack won't be allowed to leave the Den unless the fee is right. Manager George Graham has a sound defence with everyone fighting for their places.
At the moment Micky Nutton isn’t fit and Keith Stevens, Kevin Bremner and Nicky Chatterton are suffering from knocks from last Saturday's match, but they will probably be available for the home derby with Charlton at the Den on Saturday.
Graham is stepping up his search for a striker, but the fees he has been quoted are astronomical. He won't be rushed into a panic buy, especially as this could be the vital move to get the team into the promotion race.
The manager is also making up his mind about naming the side's skipper.
Dean White held that position last season, but was given a free.
Steve Lovell took over against Aston Villa in the friendly and
could be offered the job.
David Martin and Lindsay Smith are favourites to have the centre-back and sweeper positions on last Saturday's showing and Bill Roffey fitted in nicely at the back.
The defence this year looks more than adequate. but the forwards will have to up their rate of scoring. It's essential that the away record improved - it couldn't be worse than last season's which, to put it mildly, was disgraceful.
The club are in the Associate members club this year because they have been told that the final is definitely at Wembley. I’ll believe that when it happens. It was supposed to do so last season, but flopped somewhere out in the sticks.
The Lions will be playing for pride on Saturday. Prices for the friendly are the same as last week £3 and £2 and £1 for Oap’s and children.
Millwall manager George Graham has five injury worries before tomorrow’s Den
clash with neighbours Charlton.|
Midfield man Nick Chatter ton has groin trouble, as has forward Kevin Bremen, and defenders, Lindsay Smith, Mickey Button and Keith Stevens all have leg injuries.
The injury Chatterton forced Graham to bring in Les Briley and Anton Otulakowski for Tuesday's 2-1 win at Wimbledon. Meanwhile Graham has had enquiries from Doncaster and Plymouth for transfer-listed defender Dave Cusack.
by Ian Malin
Millwall 5 Charlton 1
CHARLTON manager Lennie Lawrence bitterly criticised his side's dismal display in Saturday's friendly at the Den.
Millwall swept aside Charlton in the second half and an outsider could never have guessed that, Lawrence's. outfit was the second division side.
Lawrence stormed, “I told the players that they had embarrassed the club.”
“We were shocking. The only good thing to have come out of the match was that it spells out a big warning for us for the season.”
For Millwall the win was the second against a higher grade club in a week and boss George Graham was satisfied with an impressive performance Graham said, “Funnily enough I was happier with our win at Wimbledon, because you have to play well to win there. Our defence didn't look good in the first half and I gave them a rollicking at half time.”
Millwall opened the scoring after only 55 seconds when Kevin Bremner swept home a Dean Neal cross. But Derek Hales was looking in his old form in Charlton's attack and after going close with a shot that Paul Sansome failed to hold he hit an equaliser from close range.
Once Alan McLeary beat Charlton's off-side trap to score a 36th minute second, Millwall were in control. A dubious penalty decision gave Steve Lovell a third in the second half and Steve Lowndes and Nick Chatterton scored two in the two minutes.
Millwall: Sansome, Lovell, Martin, Cusack, Roffey, Mcleary, Lowndes, Kinsella, Chatterton, Bremner, Neal
Above: Chatterton battles with Robinson for the ball
Below: Mcleary scores Millwall's second
Charlton: Johns, Gritt, Westley, Berry, Friar, Madden, Aizlewood, Flanagan, Hales, Robinson
Goals: Millwall: Bremner, Mcleary, Lovell, Lowndes and Chatterton. Charlton: Hales
LES Briley, who was signed from Aldershot where he was skipper, has been
named Millwall's club and team captain.
But midfielder Les will miss the first two matches because of suspension. Steve Lovell is his deputy as skipper.
Anton Otulakowski is also absent for the two matches, at home to Swansea and in the Milk Cup first leg, at Reading.
Manager George Graham said: “I'm still looking for a striker, because that's the only place for which there isn't any competition. There are challengers in every other position for a first team spot.”
“We're working hard and looking forward to the start of the season. The match, with Luton on Friday night, at the Don. KO 7.30pm is another test for us. it's the fourth friendly and we've played teams from higher divisions in each one.”
“Luton are a classy side and it should be another entertaining game for the fans.”
Alan Ball, now, the Pompey manager. watched Millwall thrash Charlton 5-1 on Saturday and the former England and Arsenal skipper must have been impressed by Dave Cusack.
The Lions will have to watch their disciplinary record this season - many of their bookings were due to excessive fussiness by
referees who were prejudiced by Millwall's reputation, in my opinion
- because they were fined £250 and a £500 suspended fine for their
record season. If they have another series bookings this campaign they
Graham didn't go overboard about the victory over Charlton. He said: “I told my players at half time that they weren't doing enough.
They stepped up their effort in the second half. But I don't set too much store about wins. We play every match to win.”
“His counterpart at Charlton Lennie Lawrence wasn’t very happy after Charlton’s debacle at the Den. Lawrence ”I told the team not to talk to me for three days. They embarrassed the club.”
“We didn't play with any passion But it did one thing for the directors and myself It illuminated the danger signs. Were just not good enough with the present squad, especially as Carl Harris, Darren Anderson, Peter Mountford and Steve Dowman will be out for about six weeks. But injuries are no excuse, Millwall had players missing too”
Scorers: Millwall: Bremner, McLeary, Lovell, (pen), Lowndes, Chatterton Charlton: Hales
Above: Steve Lovell slots home from the spot for 3-1
Left: Steve Lowndes not keeping his eyes on the ball
by Brian Stater
Millwall have forced the bookies to sit up and take notice. Following impressive pre-season wins against Charlton and Wimbledon the odds against the Lions lifting the Third Division championship have tumbled from 25-1 to 16-1.
And with Millwall slipping smoothly into gear manager George Graham confirmed. “My aim is to make sure we get promotion.” He added, “I don't take any notice of what the bookmakers say
- they're only amateurs. But any game that Millwall play this year
they will play to win.”
Meanwhile forward Dean Neal was back in training yesterday after taking a knock in the match with Charlton. But Micky Nutton, Keith Stevens and Lindsay are still some way from full fitness.
Millwall take a side to Fisher tonight, with goalkeeper, with midfield man Anton Otulakowski certain to play.
Fisher 2 Millwall 3
Millwall youngster Pat Gordon scored a second half sizzler in Tuesday's friendly at Salter Road. He ran through the entire Fisher defence before slotting home in the 74th Minute.
Fisher had taken a first half lead with goals from Ronnie Murdock and ever green Ossie Bayram, while Jeff Sault missed a penalty.
But Millwall's John Neal scored with a 25 yard rocket and Teddy Sheringham hit the winner following Gordon's leveller.