Jackett wants Millwall’s style of play to evolve this season

© Edmund Boyden

KENNY Jackett says he will press ahead with his plans to develop a passing brand of football at Millwall this season.

In February, Jackett spoke of how he intends to oversee a tactical revolution at the club by imposing an attacking, possession-based style of play on his players – something which was evident towards the end of last season.

And the Lions boss wants to deliver on his promise in order to keep pace with the rest of the Championship.

‎”I think football itself is evolving and moving on,” he told Lions Player. “Surfaces are much better, the protection from the referees is much more, its hard to tackle and put challenges in – defending has changed.

“You have to stay on your feet, you have to be athletic and you have to be mobile. You have to press and show people sideways and backwards if you can, rather than behind you.

“You have to be careful with any challenges right the way across the pitch.

“In terms of the offside rule, the referees assistants are more lenient now towards the attackers than they were, so it has opened the game right up. It has made it a slightly different game even from two or three years ago.

“Championship sides make the pitch very big, they play with full depth of their back four and when you get the ball you have to make sure you don’t give it back to them too quickly and too often because that can be very, very punishing.”

While Jackett is keen to see Millwall adapt to new tactics, he insists that should not come at the expense of some key values.

And as the new season draws closer, the 50-year-old believes the Lions are well-prepared to mount a challenge for the play-offs.

He added: “You have to move with it without losing some toughness, some competitiveness, some reliability of character and also some ethics of the club that we’re at.

“This is such a fantastic club. Trying to mix all of those things now as the game evolves has been very interesting for me as a manager and something that we are constantly working on.

“There is always a surprise package in this division and there is no reason why it can’t be us. This is a fantastic league to be in and I am really looking forward to the season starting now.”

Conor Sefton