Millwall forward is in the dark over opening-day selection

© Millwall FC
© Millwall FC

JERMAINE Easter has been a stand-out performer in pre-season.

The striker has hit three goals in friendlies against Dartford, Stevenage and Real Mallorca, and has chalked up two assists in behind-closed-doors fixtures.

But the Wales international has no idea whether he will be in Ian Holloway’s starting XI for the game against Leeds United on Saturday.

Despite the first clash of the season being four days away, the Millwall boss has not yet hinted at his preferred line-up.

“I have no idea what team the manager might pick – he’s playing his cards very close to his chest,” Easter said.

“All you can do is keep on working hard and hopefully I’ve done enough in pre-season to warrant a place in his XI. But I honestly can’t call it.”

Easter added: “Pre-season has been tough but enjoyable. The gaffer has worked us hard and if you want to be one of his forward players, you have to be fit and be able to get about the pitch.

“I’ve done pre-seasons which have been ridiculous but this has been enjoyable – you feel like you’re learning and benefiting from everything that we’ve been doing.”

Easter is adapting to a new role on the left side of a three-pronged attack.

“That’s where the manager sees me playing,” he explained. “It’s enjoyable – you can get into pockets of space and sometimes you can find yourself unmarked in the box.

“It’s something I’m having to learn and I’m really focusing on what the gaffer is saying with regards to my positioning and the work I have to do defensively. You’re never too old to learn.

“You’re never restricted to one position with the way the manager wants to play – rotation is the most important thing in his team.

“You’ve got to know how to play in different positions so that when you’re in a different part of the field you know how to adapt.

“On the left, you still get opportunities to score goals but you have to create goals as well and I’ve managed to do it in pre-season.”