Date: 11th October 2015 at 1:52pm
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Skipper Tony Craig has called for patience from the fans, saying that all good Millwall sides historically start slowly – and manager Neil Harris has explained Jimmy Abdou’s injury and shoulder surgery.

Both interview’s are carried by the South London Press, so beginning with Craig, he admitted that being 15th in the table after eleven games was certainly not what anybody at the club had hoped for when it came to the end of the first quarter of the season, but he feels there have been enough signs to show our league placing will improve in the next quarter.

‘We said we`d look at the league after 10 or so games, so it`s not quite good enough, but we`re only at the start still. When you look back, Millwall is a club that whenever it`s done well, we haven`t started well. On the other hand, if you look at last season they did start well – and look what happened there. You do look at the season around 10 league games in, to assess where you are. And at the moment, with the squad we`ve got, it isn`t good enough. But the way the league is, two or three wins in a row could push you right up into the play-off positions.’

Craig went on to say that he feels we’ve got a good squad and some ‘exciting players’ in our ranks and everybody continues to work hard on the training pitch, so eleven games in, he feels there’s a lot more to come from us and of course there is a lot of football left to be played.

With us now in the international break and a good lay off until October 17 when we face Swindon, Craig went on to say that it’s the perfect time to drill harder on the training pitch now to seek improvement and of course the youngsters in the group will benefit from that, as will new signing George Saville who has time to bed in.

‘Maybe the break has come at a good time for us again. It is the right time for the gaffer to stamp his authority on the squad again and go through some things that haven`t been quite going right for us. We`ll get to work on those things and then we`ll go again. We`re all in it together and striving to improve. We`ve got great characters here and a great squad. There are some great lads in the dressing room. We know at the moment some results haven`t been right for us but we`ve got time off now from the league to put that right. We`d be the first to put our hands up and admit that. But there are still many games to go and the only way is up.’

As for Abdou, he went under the knife the other day in an effort to bring an end to the niggling shoulder complaints he’s been battling with.

With damage, the surgery was to repair the socket so that it could heal properly for the 31 year old, and whilst it does mean he’s out for at least the next eight weeks, manager Neil Harris explained that it simply had to be done as otherwise we could’ve lost him for the season following the injury he picked up in the defeat to Peterborough.

‘If he hadn`t had this operation, it might never have sat right again. The surgeon said without the procedure, there might be complications as he got older – such as it being
regularly dislocated. He needs to get back to normal life and this is the only way to make sure he does. He has no choice. But he will be out for at least two months, now.’

Harris says Abdou is obviously disappointed because he’d been enjoying his game time this year as a regular, but ‘Jimmy being Jimmy’ he feels like he’s let the boys down because he’s now out for a period.

‘Jimmy being Jimmy, he feels like he has let people down, rather than worrying about himself. He will be a big miss. But we want him to be able to recover properly. Once his arm is better and back as strong as it was, he will be able to return to playing.’

With Ed Upson picking up a right knee medial ligament injury in the same game, his time frame out is equally going to be around the two month mark, but it’s hoped he’ll be slightly ahead of that.

‘We have to make sure it is strong and correct before he can come back in. He has played a big part for me so he will also be a big loss. But that is what a squad is for. We have to deal with the cards we are dealt.’

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