SCOTT Malone has set some big personal and team goals for next season – saying Millwall must challenge for the play-offs after consecutive top-half finishes.
Malone, 30, sealed a permanent move to the Lions for the second time in his career after a successful season in which he scored six goals in 43 games.
That’s the most number of games he’s played in a campaign across a 12-season career, and it was the third time he has scored six goals in a season.
Malone joined Millwall for the first time in May 2012 from Bournemouth before leaving for Cardiff two-and-a-half seasons later.
He returned to The Den on loan last summer before agreeing a free-transfer move from Derby last month.
Malone won the club’s goal of the season for his strike against Sheffield Wednesday in February, and he is aiming to continue his fine form next season.
“I think I need to match the goal tally, that’s the biggest one, especially if I play in the wing-back role again,” Malone told NewsAtDen after completing his move. “That’s something I need to do.
“Games as well. I need to play the same amount of games, especially as, hopefully, next season will be back to a bit of normality. A little bit longer between games so you can rest and train a little bit more, that will be nice. Any less games would be a negative.
“For the team – and I know everyone says it, you probably have about 12, 15 teams saying the same thing – we have to be looking to get top six.
“You say that every year, but realistically we’ve had an eighth-place finish, 11th-place finish over the last two seasons. You have to now be really, really pushing for the play-offs. You have to be in there or if you’re not you can’t be too far away.
“That has to be the realistic aim next season.
“But you’ve got so many players out of contract, especially Championship players – something like over a hundred Championship players that can go on a free, it’s scary – you don’t know what anyone’s squad is going to look like.
“You don’t know how many players the Premier League teams coming down are going to lose, who they’re going to replace them with.
“That’s the beauty of the Championship. You look at Barnsley this year, they didn’t win for the first six games. You can’t tell me after the first six games you’d have put any money on them being sixth at the end of the season.
“It’s there for us if we do everything we possibly can to get in. I think it’s there for us.”
Image: Millwall FC