Millwall prepare for a Chelsea Invasion
By Michael Hart
Millwall began immediate preparations today for the visit of London Neighbours Chelsea in the second round of the Milk Cup.
Millwall were one of several small clubs to benefit from the seeding of the draw and anticipate breaking their receipts record of £25,000 set when WBA visited the Den in the same competition last season.
The Third Division club managed by former Chelsea midfield player George Graham - were consulting local police this afternoon to set an attendance limit for the first match in the two-leg
“Our capacity for a night game used to be 32,000 but after recent alterations
to the ground it might be a little lower,” Said club secretary Sylvia Shaw.
Millwall were also planning to meet Chelsea officials later today to discuss security arrangements for a game that will almost certainly be all-ticket.
“The reputation of our fans, has improved in recent seasons,” said Mrs Shaw, “Hull City give an award each year for the best behaved fans and we are the current holders.”
Chelsea fans were blamed for the terrace trouble at the opening day game between Wimbledon and Manchester City, although there have been no reports of any significant disturbances at the four matches they have played since their return to Division one.
By BRIAN STATER
MILLWALL are predicting a gate of over 20,000 for their Milk Cup cracker with Chelsea. The Lions will face the First Division outfit at The Den in the first leg of the second round clash.
Charlton are at home to Notts County and Palace travel to Sunderland. The first leg games must he played in the week commencing September 24.
After yesterday's draw, Millwall Chief executive Tony Shaw forecast, “We should at least double the receipts we gained from the 3-0 defeat of West Brom at the same stage last year.”
Club officials were last night meeting their Chelsea counterparts and police to discuss arrangements for the Den match, which is likely to be all-ticket.
Lions chief George Graham, who played for Chelsea under Tommy Docherty in the late 1960s said, “It’s a marvelous draw for us. It will produce two very hard games.”
The tie also gives 24-year-old central defender Micky Nutton an extra incentive to break back into the Lion's line-up. Nutton was bought from Stamford Bridge for £10,000 by Graham 18 months ago and started with Chelsea as a schoolboy.
Meanwhile the Lions expect to have Anton Otulakowski and Dave Cusack fit for Sunday's Third Division home clash with Orient, which kicks off at 11.30 a.m.
Graham must decide whether to bring back Tony Kinsella who was dropped for the midweek Reading outing.
Left: George Graham will take Millwall back to his old stamping ground in the Milk Cup
By Tony Stenson|
Chelsea chairman Ken Bates frustration boiled over as the Milk Cup second-round draw sucked his club into a flashpoint tie against London neighbours Millwall.
Bates reacted by casting his eyes to the heavens and groaning: “Why are you doing this to me.”
The announcement of this potentially explosive two-leg confrontation had Bates and Millwall chairman Alan Thorne dashing to a hurriedly arranged meeting near last night where they swapped ideas that might help to keep peace between their fans.
Bates has worked hard to polish Chelsea image. He said: “It would have been much better for us to have drawn Torquay or Carlisle.”
“We do have a reputation. We do have some violent people. But it's only a minority and I believe the rest is a figment of the medias imagination.”
Two Millwall games this season have already been scarred by crowd trouble.
But Millwall manager George Graham, once a Chelsea idol, said: “For God's sake, let's talk about the game. It's not about violence directors or managers, but the people who matter – the Players.”
“If there's going to be trouble, then we should leave It to the police or the administrators. I’m totally excited about the tie. I had two great years at Chelsea and won a League cup medal with them. I made four final appearances in the competition.”
“They were good, glorious days and I hope my players experience the same joys I did.”