John Morgan reports how a new look brings the roar back to The Den
FINGS ain't what they used to be down at The Den in Cold Blow Lane.
The old place has been given a lick of paint the office refurbished,
Millwall has got a new look team and the supporters, in ever
increasing numbers, are behaving themselves. And you can put it
down to "Little Doc".
John Docherty, the 5ft 5in Millwall manager smiles at the nickname,
but agrees that like "The Doc” a fellow Glaswegian Tommy
Docherty, he is determined to go places taking Millwall with him.
He smiles at the suggestion that he has splashed more money on
building the new Millwall team than the collective spending of all
the managers who went before him at The Den.
"What happened," he explains, “is that we knew the players we
wanted and trailed them for months. It just happened that they all
became available within weeks.”
So into the club have come: Tony Cascarino (£220,000, from
Gillingham); Kevin O'Callaghan, (£80,000, from Portsmouth);
Steve Wood, (£80,000, from Reading); George Lawrence (£160,000,
from Southampton); and Terry Hurlock (£95,000 from Reading).
That adds up to a £635,000 spending spree. "Is that all?" he says,
indicating that if more is needed then more would be found.
“It may seem a lot of money by Millwall standards, but that is just
the way it worked out. Everything came together at the same time.”
“I had seven years at Cambridge and I always thought they were the happiest
of my life.”
“I came here from Brentford with a certain amount of trepidation,
but after a month I knew that Millwall was the place for me.
"All I had read about the Millwall supporters proved to be
nonsense. They are the friendliest bunch in the game.
And Docherty is determined to reward those fans "Anybody makes
prophesies in this game is asking for trouble,” he says cautiously
“All I will say is that this is the strongest squad of players I have
worked with. I am, as they say, quietly confident.”
“Leave us alone and let us get on with the job. And if the customers
keep coming, then I know we will have had an enjoyable season.”