O’Brien defends Millwall fans after pitch invasion

AIDEN O’Brien refused to criticise the Millwall fans who ran onto the pitch after the Lions’ 1-0 League One play-off final win over Bradford on Saturday.

Hundreds of supporters managed to get past Wembley stewards after the final whistle, before being urged to get back to the stands by match-winner Steve Morison and Neil Harris.

The pitch was eventually cleared, allowing Lions captain Tony Craig to lift the trophy and the players to celebrate.

Morison said the pitch invasion “ruined” the occasion, but O’Brien was more forgiving.

“They had the right to do that,” he said. “They’ve been supporting us all through the season. They should be celebrating as much as we are celebrating. It’s a team thing and they’re part of the team. So they can run on the pitch in my eyes, they deserve to.”

Morison scored from Lee Gregory’s flick-on in the 85th minute to finish the season as Millwall’s top scorer with 19 goals.

“Words don’t even come into my head,” O’Brien said. “I can’t even explain to you how I feel right now. I’m emotional, I’m buzzing, I just don’t know what’s going on really. It’s unbelievable. I can’t wait to get out [Saturdaynight]!

“We knew Bradford’s game plan. But you’ve just got to stand strong as a team. They’re not going to break you down if you’re together as a team. Space doesn’t hurt you, it’s going to be the player on the ball.

“We created a few chances, but the only problems we got were when we were attacking and then they ran up the other end. We realised that we were our own weakness. So we stayed strong and we made sure we had bodies behind the ball.

“Luckily enough, the Silver Fox [Morison] came alive and scored the goal. That’s him all over, him and Gregory, they work well together. That’s why we score a lot of goals. It’s all good. We just want to get out now and enjoy the night.”

Image: Millwall FC 

John Kelly