Williams questions Millwall’s belief at Bolton

SHAUN Williams felt there was a lack of belief that Millwall could get a result at Bolton Wanderers on Saturday.

The Lions’ search for a first win at Bolton since 1973 continues on as Neil Harris’ side lost 2-0, their first defeat in six games and only their second in nine, both to the same opponents.

Millwall fell a goal behind to Josh Vela’s shot from outside the box in the first half before Tom Thorpe doubled the Trotters’ lead after the break.

The visitors failed to create anything of note until the final 10 minutes of the game as Phil Parkinson saw Bolton keep Millwall scoreless in two League One encounters, just as his Bradford side did last season.

Williams said afterwards there needed to be more “self-belief” against one of the strong promotion favourites.

“I don’t think people came into the game quite confident of getting the result,” Williams admitted. “I just think people need to have a bit more self-belief. You can do it in training every day but when it comes to a match-day there’s no point hiding away from it.

“We all just have to pull our sleeves up and perform when the whistle goes.

“I don’t think we had many clear-cut chances and we’re a bit frustrated, similar to the last game. We’ve played well and come away with nothing again, same result.

“There were two moments when they got the two goals and that’s decided the game.

“It just seemed that we were quite deep and allowed them to have the ball a lot more than we did. But then again they pressed quite well when we had it.

“We got up the pitch well at times and passed the ball, used Harry (Smith) with the longer ball at times but it’s just frustrating after being on such a good run. We’ll go again.”

Millwall were frustrated in their attempts to test Ben Alnwick, registering just one shot on goal.

Bolton were the more threatening, with Vela in front of Jay Spearing and Liam Trotter in midfield and Zach Clough and Sammy Ameobi involved from wide midfield areas.

Williams admitted it was a tricky system to face. “I think it’s just communication from people that can see it from behind you. If their wingers are coming inside we’ve got to get a shout to look over our shoulders if we haven’t seen them.

“It’s difficult to play against but I’m sure sometimes we’re quite difficult to play against as well. They’re effective at it and it’s working for them.

“They had the numbers around the ball and knew where it was going to go. They had two sitting in midfield and one just ahead of them so that outnumbers us. They’re good at what they do and that’s why they’ve beaten us twice now.

“Like ourselves when we came down last year, they’ve got quality players that have done it on the Championship. I don’t see why they won’t be up there challenging.”

Williams has scored three goals this season and is arguably playing his most consistent and effective football since he joined Millwall from MK Dons in January 2014.

But he’s not interested in talking about personal form.

He said: “I enjoyed it when I first came for the rest of that season and the first half of the season in the Championship. All I can do is keep playing and hopefully we can pick up results. It’s not about individuals, it’s a team game.”

Williams is also keen for the side to get the defeat at The Macron Stadium of their system when they face play-off-chasing AFC Wimbledon on Tuesday night.

“Saturday to Saturday gives you longer to think about what’s gone on but hopefully we can put it right on Tuesday,” he said.

“I don’t think that people will be calling for the gaffer’s head because we’ve got beaten in one game. We owe it to him and the fans and everythone else to get a result back at home.”

Image source: ©Millwall FC

John Kelly