‘I love working under the gaffer’ – Millwall midfielder Ryan Leonard targets new Lions deal

RYAN Leonard wants to sign a new contract with Millwall – and is confident that if he keeps performing another deal will be agreed.

Leonard, 28, joined on loan from Sheffield United in the summer of 2018 before the move became permanent the following January.

The initial terms of that deal are due to expire next summer.

The Lions had a long-standing interest in Leonard, who played with Neil Harris at Southend. Harris tried to sign him from the Shrimpers, before the midfielder joined the Blades in January 2018.

But just six of Leonard’s 16 league appearances for Chris Wilder’s side were starts and he left for Millwall after just half a season.

Leonard has made 62 starts and four substitute appearances in the league for Millwall. He has played 73 times in all competitions and scored five goals.

The versatile Leonard has nailed down a central midfield role this season, but has also covered at right-back and right wing-back when Mahlon Romeo has been out. That ability to play in a number of positions is highly valued by boss Gary Rowett, who has one of the smallest squads in the Championship.

Leonard was asked if he is playing for his Lions future.

“I guess you could say that,” Leonard admitted. “It happens eventually in everyone’s career, players get out of contract and you want to sort out a new deal.

“For me, it’s a case of I’m enjoying my football at the moment. I’m really enjoying working under the gaffer.

“If I can extend that then great.

“I’d love to stay, I like working under the gaffer and Joe [Carnall] and Ads [Adam Barrett]. Long may that continue.

“But it’s not at the forefront of my mind at the moment. I just want to keep turning in performances and being a regular in a team that’s doing well.

“That’s the main thing for me. If you’re doing well and the team’s winning then contracts will come and things will sort themselves out, I think.

“If you think about the situation too much you can get eaten up a little bit about it. It’s better to focus on staying fit, getting regular games.

“Things like good performances and the team doing well will naturally start to add up.

“But it is there and if I can extend my stay with the gaffer and the football club then I’d like to do that.”

Image: Millwall FC 

John Kelly