Millwall hero hopes playing the likes of Leeds and Villa will bring big Den crowds

STEVE Morison said after Saturday’s League One play-off final win over Bradford that Millwall have a “massive task” ahead of them next season.

Morison scored the 85th-minute winner against Bradford at Wembley, to ensure Millwall joined automatically promoted Sheffield United and Bolton Wanderers in the second tier.

Morison is hoping playing against the likes of Leeds United, Sunderland and Aston Villa will mean more fans come to The Den, and he admitted he is curious what changes Neil Harris will make to the squad.

“If you look at the games we’ll be playing next year it’s going to be fantastic,” Morison said. “It’ll be interesting to see what the manager does over the next few weeks. He had a plan for both leagues, and we have a lot to look forward to.

“If you get 14 or 15,000 [at The Den] it’s a brilliant place to play for us and it’s not nice for other teams. As you’ve seen this season, when you have a half-empty Den on a Tuesday or Wednesday night it’s difficult for us.

“They’ve got something to look forward to now in the Championship. There are some massive teams, Sunderland, Villa, Leeds. Every team is huge, even Sheffield United, Bolton who went up. Arguably the biggest teams in League One have gone up this season.

“It’s going to be a massive task. I’d take fourth from bottom right now. We’ll work very, very hard after the summer and it’ll be nice to see how some of these lads cope next year in the Championship. They’re going to have to develop even more.

“We have a lot of work to do, we come back in June 26, something like that. Five weeks and then we start grafting again.”

Leeds are one of two former clubs Morison will face next season, along with Norwich City. Millwall’s match-winner was asked after Saturday’s final if he had made a financial sacrifice to join from Leeds in 2015 and he responded: “No I was still getting paid by Leeds, I was getting paid by Leeds last season. I wasn’t leaving Leeds until I got my money.

“They didn’t want me, I had a contract, but it wasn’t a sacrifice. I wanted to come here, I wanted to play for Neil Harris and Millwall Football Club.

“He rang me up, I actually saw him on holiday as I do every year in Portugal, we go to the same place. He wanted me back here, I wanted to come back, I really enjoy playing here. The last two years have been special.”

Morison’s goal against the Bantams ensured Millwall made up for the disappointment of losing 3-1 to Barnsley in last year’s League One decider.

He said: “We mentioned it the first day of pre-season, we said let’s put it to bed. Our aim last year wasn’t promotion but we got [to the final]. Once you get there you want to get promoted.

“This year we wanted to do it automatically but weren’t good enough for that. This was the next best opportunity and we did it.”

Morison said on Sky Sports immediately after the game that a pitch invasion by some Millwall fans had “ruined” the moment promotion was confirmed, and he repeated that later before boarding the team bus.

“I’ve never been so high or so low in such a short period of time, but I don’t want the headlines to be about them,” he said. “It should be about us and those people who have ruined it for everybody else should hang their heads in shame.

“It is what it is, you can’t stop people doing stupid things. All that matters is we’ve won the game and we know where we will be playing our football next season.”

Image: Millwall FC 

John Kelly