COME BACK KEVIN

Kevin O'Callaghan will pull on a Millwall shirt for the first time this afternoon - and that's good news for injury plagued Lions manager John Docherty.

O'Callaghan, an £80,000 signing from Portsmouth, was forced to sit out all Millwall's pre-season preparations after picking up first a stomach strain and then a hamstring injury.

Butthe 24-year-old midfielder resumed training at the end of last week and gets his firstworkout when Millwall Reserves take on Watford at the Den.

Kevin has done very well during training, but he has missed a lot of work and early to say how long it will be before I can consider him for the first team," said Docherty.

It has certainly been frustrating start for O'Callaghan who kicked off his career as an apprentice at the Den and was part of Millwall’s FA Youth Cup winning side before joining Ipswich for £250,000.

"I was really excited about coming back to Millwall, so picking up an injury on the first day of pre-season 

training was very disappointing he said.

"It means I've had to miss all the pre-season work, in fact I haven't been able to do any serious training since the end of last season when I played for Eire against Brazil.

Nicky Coleman and Michael Marks, Millwall’s other long-term injury victim are also to play again but skipper Alan Mcleary and midfielder Dave Mehmet are still some way from full fitness.

 

Lions Go For Goals
by Rob Bowden

Goal hungry Millwall hope to build on exciting start to season at Bradford tomorrow.

The Lions ' impressive 3-1 victory over Birmingham in midweek moved them into fourth place in the Second Division at the head of a pack of clubs on 7 points.

Manager John Docherty is expected to stick with the side that smashed Birmingham's unbeaten record in such convincing style, although full back Nicky Coleman could come back into the reckoning.

Coleman, who has been plagued by a hamstring injury, turned out for Millwall's reserves against Watford in midweek, and is close to full fitness.

That match also marked Kevin O'Callaghan's first appearance in a Millwall shirt, since his arrival from Portsmouth in the summer for £80,000.

Millwall won 1-0 with a goal from Michael Marks and Docherty said, “Kevin did very well although he was very tired and sore at the end and we will have to wait and see whether there is any reaction.”

Kevin O 'Callaghan will pull on a Millwall shirt for the fast time this afternoon - and that's good news for injury plagued Lions manager John Docherty.

O 'Callaghan, an £80,000 signing from Portsmouth, was forced to sit out all Millwall's pre-season preparations after picking up first a stomach strain and then a hamstring injury.

But the 24-year-old midfielder resumed training at the end of last week and gets his first work out when Millwall Reserves take on Watford at the Den.

"Kevin has done very well during training, but he has missed a lot of work and early to say how long it will be before I can consider him for the first team," said Docherty.

It has certainly been frustrating start for O'Callaghan who kicked off his career as an apprentice at the Den and was part of Millwall’s FA Youth Cup winning side before joining Ipswich for £250,000.

"I was really excited about coming back to Millwall, so picking up an injury on the first day of pre-season training was very disappointing he said.

"It means I've had to miss all the pre-season work, in fact I haven't been able to do any serious training since the end of last season when I played for Eire against Brazil.

Nicky Coleman and Michael Marks, Millwall’s other long-term injury victim are also to play again but skipper Alan Mcleary and midfielder Dave Mehmet are still some way from full fitness.

 
MILLWALL CLEAN UP ACT

Millwall Football Club is on course to become the sporting Yuppies favourite haunt, writes Tony Roche.

 To those fans who dreaded a trip to the South London club because of its association with hooliganism, this may seem inconceivable. But the men who run Millwall are determined to change its image and attract a new clientele.

Traditionally the home of London's dockers, The Den has undergone a massive facelift and the club is working flat out to become an integral part of the London Docklands Development.

Neglect

Chairman Reg Burr explained: "We used to attract dock workers but they've gone; the whole working community has gone. Now we attract people from outside the area, Kent, Surrey and parts of London. Yet we have 650,000 people living within a quarter-of-a-mile of the ground. 

The problem is that very few of them are football fans. But we are closest club to the new dockland development area and I can see a time when we will be what Chelsea and Fulham were to London football in the 1950s and 60s, the club where the young, upwardly mobile fraternity want to be seen.

"We have worked very hard to clean this up place, It has been a formidable taskbecause you cannot undo 40 years of neglect in one go. But we have quality and experience at the helm in manager John Docherty and his colleague, Frank McLintock."

Millwall's chief executive Graham Hortop (right), said the club has spent more than £300,000 on ground safety and increasing the capacity from 16,000 to 19,000.

He said "We know the docklands is the coming area in London and in London and we are determined to play our part in that community. We were sponsored by  the London Docklands Development Corporation last season and were negotiating a similar deal now.

We’ve also agreed a sponsorship deal with the council, worth £70,000 a year over four years.

"We want our fans to be aware of what's been done, be proud of the Club and its ambition."

It's all very well changing the image, but success on the field is vital, and Hortop stresses the £650,000 the club has spent on players like Kevin O'Callaghan, Steve Wood, George Lawrence and striker Tony Cascarino.

Hortop is both realistic and ambitious about the future. He said: "Our job of moving Millwall into a new era isn't finished yet. But we've made a very strong start."

Graham Hortop

 
 
FIGHTBACK FLOPS

but Millwall found themselves further
behind in the 53rd minute when Futcher
beat Horne fromthe penalty spot after he
had been upended by Keith Stevens.

Hurlock powered through two challenge
to give Millwall a glimmer of hope in the
65th minute and there were certainly some
anxious moments for Bradford as the Lions
at last roared into life Teddy Sheringham
missed a couple of half chances before
Futcher put the outcome beyond doubt -
knocking home a low Mark Ellis cross.

"The players are still bedding in,"
explained Docherty, "but we never really
managed to reach the sort of standard
we set against Birmingham.” 

RATINGS: Horne ****, Stevens ***,
Sparham ****, Hurlock *****, Walker ****,
Wood ***, Lawrence ***, Briley **,
Sheringham **, Cascarino ***, Salman ***,
Subs: Morgan, Byrne

Match rating: 4

BRADFORD CITY (1) 3 MILLWALL (0) 1
Palin 12 Hurlock 65
Futcher 54, 89 Att 8,658

IT was a case of too little, too late for John
Docherty's new-look Millwall side at Bradford
on Saturday.

The Lions didn't ready start playing until they
were two goals down and after Terry Hurlock
had given them a glimmer of hope it looked
as thorough they might just escape with a point.

But Ron Futcher shattered those hopes with
his second goal a minute from the end and
Millwall were left bemoaning a couple of
missed chances and a penalty appeal that
was waved aside.

"We were lethargic at the start, but I thought
we caused them quite a lot of problems in
the second half," said Docherty, who tipped,
the Yorkshire club as promotion "dark horses"
before the start of the season. 

"We should have had a penalty when Danis
Salman was fouled, but we are not going to
cry about that - it just seems as though we
can't take our chances as well away from
home."

Ian Palin left Millwall facing an uphill
struggle when he put Bradford in front after
only 12 minutes, but solid work by Steve
Wood, Alan Walker, Sean Sparham and Brian
Horne kept the Lions in with a shout.

Hurlock turned in another powerhouse display
in midfield, but Tony Cascarino had trouble
escaping the attentions of Gavin Oliver and
Teddy Sheringham had one of those
afternoons when nothing went right.

The Millwall striker was unlucky with one
spectacular overhead kick which hit the post,

Bradford City 3 Millwall 1

AGGRESSIVE and exciting play saw a dejected Millwall team regain its self respect in a deadly battle against Bradford City.

Let down by a weak first-half defence, something sparked in the Lions heart after the break and the London side slowly clawed their way back.

Teddy Sheringham's overhead kick from a Keith Stevens throw hit the. post and Tony Cascarino's shot from the rebound was deflected for a corner

Two minutes later, in the 63rd minute Terry Hurlock collected  the ball from Sheringham, powered his way through two would be tacklers and cracked in a scorching 12-yarder. 

Bradford were on their way to victory as early as the 11th minute when Leigh Palin flicked one past Brian Horne. A penalty sent them further ahead in the 53rd and City's third goal, two minutes from time, was a masterpiece of combined effort before Ron Futcher fired home five yards.

Keith Pays

Bradford 3  Millwall 1

YOUNG full-back Keith Stevens is a promising find, but he
has a lot to learn.

And the experienced Ron Futcher made him pay for his
lack of know-how with a vital breakthrough early in the
second half.

Millwall trailed to an early score by Palin, but fighting back
strongly looking set for an equaliser.

Then Futcher struck. He robbed Stevens as the youngster
hesitated over a clearance and set off solo.

Futcher passed two other defenders when Stevens sliding
in desperately sent him toppling. A penalty, and Futcher
calmly scored to leave Millwall with too much to do to
avoid defeat.

Still Futcher had not finished. Although Hurlock scored
after Sheringham had hit a post, City clinched it near the
end with a third goal. The scorer? Futcher of course

ONE WHO WAS THERE!

Millwall never seemed to have any luck on long journeys up
north. I traveled with the Away travel club on the only coach
they laid on. It was fifty seat coach with about 20 people on
it. Certainly at this stage of the season, it was never gonna
be a huge turn out, but the three hundred or so up there was
a respectable turn out. It was my first visit to Valley Parade,
having gone to Odsal stadium a couple of seasons ago.

I was impressed with the new stands but laughed at the
micky mouse arrangement of employing an ex-professional
goalkeeper to patrol up and down the roof of the low stand
to our right to try and catch the ball before it fell to road far
below the stand. However he was very good and caught a
lot of balls. Surely a net would be better.

The first goal was credited to Palin, but it went in off
Salman's knee after he tried to close him down on the
edge of the six yard box.

Contributor: Gazza

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