Millwall’s Tom Bradshaw on goal target in last two games – and potential favour from strike partner

TOM Bradshaw has two more games to try to get into double-figures this season – and could need a favour from his strike partner to achieve it.

Bradshaw has scored nine goals in 2021-22, all of them in his last 18 appearances. Bradshaw is seventh in the goals-per-minutes ranking in this season’s Championship. The forward has hit the back of the net every 142 minutes.

Millwall still have a chance of the play-offs with two goals left. But if they don’t beat Peterborough United this Saturday and other results go against them, they will effectively have nothing to play for on the last day against AFC Bournemouth.

Afobe is the Lions’ penalty-taker in the absence of Jed Wallace and held his nerve to rescue a 2-2 draw at Birmingham last Saturday with a successful 98th-minute spot-kick past Neil Etheridge.

If the Lions don’t have anything to play for on the last day and were awarded a penalty, would Bradshaw ask Afobe if he could take it?

“To be fair, with the relationship we’ve got, he’d give me the ball, I think,” Bradshaw told NewsAtDen. “He’s offered that in games before when I’ve come on and he’s said, ‘if we get a penalty you take it, Bradders’. Those are the little things that in a strike partnership go a long way.

Benik Afobe equalises against Birmingham City

“I practise penalties with him every day in training so I know he’s a great penalty-taker and that he’s been in that position many times in his career before. He can handle the pressure.

“But I also played with Neil Etheridge and I know he’s a good penalty-saver. If you didn’t get a few nerves with a penalty in the 98th minute you wouldn’t be human.

“He’s done the business a few times with penalties this season so I knew he was going to score.”

Bradshaw and Afobe – who has scored 12 goals in this campaign – have struck up a good relationship when they have played together this season.

Bradshaw said: “I think it’s just one of those things where it’s just naturally clicked. I’d never played with Benik before. I played against him a couple of times in his MK Dons days, Bristol City. We just have a natural chemistry and I think I’m in a little bit of debt because he’s set me up a few more times than I’ve set him up.

The two forwards have clicked as a strike partnership

“We’ve got a really good relationship in terms of we both want to win, we both want to score but it’s a healthy relationship where we’re both genuinely really happy for each other when the other scores. It’s not super-competitive in terms of who scores and who doesn’t. It’s more for the team.

“We’ve spoken about it in previous months about both scoring ten goals and kicking on from there. I think every time we play together one of us seems to score. It’s a great thing in football as a striker when you find that with another striker. Long may it continue.”

*Read a long interview with Tom Bradshaw in this Thursday’s Southwark News, where he discusses not giving up hope of a Wales call-up in a World Cup year – and the mood of the squad as they try to gate-crash the top six.

Image: Millwall FC 

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John Kelly