BBC BLOGS - Paul Fletcher
« Previous | Main | Next »

Millwall show the power of persistence

Post categories:

Paul Fletcher | 20:31 UK time, Saturday, 29 May 2010

At Wembley

As the old saying goes, if at first you don't succeed try, try again.

Millwall's defeat of Swindon in Saturday's League One play-off final was a victory for the power of persistence.

After five play-off defeats for the south London club, during which they won just twice in 13 games, the Lions and their supporters can finally celebrate promotion through the end of season knock-out.

The scenes at the final whistle after their 1-0 victory spoke of Millwall's relief and exhilaration at ending an unwanted sequence of failure and frustration.

The Lions lost four semi-final ties before reaching last year's final, which culminated in a heartbreaking 3-2 defeat to Scunthorpe when Martyn Woolford struck an 85th-minute winner.

Last season's match was the pick of the 2009 play-off finals, but it did not feel all that great for the Lions players as they sat in their dressing room afterwards.

Neil Harris celebrates winning promotion Veteran Harris celebrates finally winning promotion through the play-offs

It was at that point that manager Kenny Jackett spoke to his players about the importance of making sure that all their hard work did not go to waste.

"The club came a long way last season, finishing fifth in the league and reaching the play-off final," said Jackett.

"But after losing we felt disappointed and we had to make sure we built on the anger of that defeat."

For a while at the start of the current season it looked as though Jackett's team were suffering a hangover painful enough to wreck their chances of mounting another promotion campaign.

Millwall won just two of their first 10 league games, and struggled with injuries before Christmas, but the Lions lost only twice after the turn of the year to finish third in the League One table, a single point behind Leeds.

They defeated Swindon 3-2 on the final day of the regular season - and would have snatched the second automatic promotion place from Leeds if the Yorkshire club had not overcome a 1-0 deficit against Bristol Rovers.

"We were so proud of almost catching Leeds so there was no disappointment after the Swindon game," said striker Neil Harris, the club's all-time leading scorer.

"We have a bunch of players who are winners. We are so motivated and focused and it has been like that all season."

They did not concede a goal in their three play-off games, defeating Huddersfield 2-0 on aggregate in their semi-final tie, and only the truly mean spirited would suggest they are not worthy of promotion.

Certainly, Millwall appeared to handle the pressure of being in a Wembley final better than Swindon, particularly during the opening half.

Jackett, who had lost previous play-off finals at both Swansea and Millwall, felt that the experience of the defeat against Scunthorpe was an important factor.

This year he tried to keep the build-up to the match as normal as possible and his squad wore tracksuits - not sharp suits - on the day of the final as they attempted to mimic their normal match-day routine.

Neil Harris added: "There has been a sense of calmness among the squad over the last two weeks.

"It is about playing the game and not the occasion and sometimes, as a senior player, I have got to remind people of that."

Within seconds of Saturday's match kicking off Liam Trotter calmly collected the ball in the centre circle and switched play. It looked relatively insignificant but it impressed Harris, who took it as sign that his team-mates were relaxed and composed. He knew then that Millwall would win.

Harris was visibly delighted as he talked about the joy of finally winning a play-off campaign after four previous failures. Jackett appeared less emotional as he answered questions about the final, but his words spoke of his pride in the club's achievement.

"This is undoubtedly my biggest achievement as a manager," added Jackett. "It takes something to keep going after a play-off defeat."

Jackett is regarded as a calm and studious manager who must be applauded for the job he has done since taking over at a club fourth from bottom at the time of his appointment in November 2007.

His Swindon counterpart Danny Wilson took over at the County Ground in December 2008 and the 50-year-old's first 18 months in charge at the Wiltshire club are similar to what Jackett went through at the New Den.

Wilson kept the Robins up after taking over mid-season at a struggling club and has now taken them to within 90 minutes of promotion in his first full campaign.

The challenge now is for them to emulate what Jackett did at Millwall and use the hurt of a play-off defeat as a positive motivation.

Wilson, arms on his hips, facial expression speaking of the pain of defeat, watched from the Wembley turf as the opposition players collected their winners' medals.

"We have to look at Millwall, how they have bounced back brilliantly, we have to take [inspiration] from that," said Wilson.

swindon595pa.jpg Wilson and his team hope to learn from their defeat

Wilson has to pick his players up, none more so than striker Charlie Austin, whose nightmare miss in the second half came at the end of a dream season for the 20-year-old.

Austin started his campaign with Poole Town in the Wessex League Premier Division and ended it playing in a Wembley final, scoring 20 goals along the way for the Robins after making his debut in October.

But he shot woefully wide with only the keeper to beat after 72 minutes, wasting Swindon's best chance. Every Millwall fan I spoke to admitted he expected Austin to score.

Wilson was keen to stress that the ball hit a bobble and looped up in the split second before Austin made contact but I imagine that will be no consolation right now.

After the final whistle the inconsolable Austin tried to escape from the outside world by burying his head in a towel. It was an image that conveyed everything you ever need to know about the pain of defeat.

As I write these words early on Saturday evening some comic has already tweaked Austin's Wikipedia profile so that he is described as a "bottler", with a middle name of "Bobble".

The challenge now for everyone connected with Swindon is to ensure that in 12 months
time any profile ends by mentioning the club's promotion to the Championship.

You can follow me throughout the season at twitter.com/Paul__Fletcher

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    Swindon fan here.

    No complaints here. The best side won today. We didn't get going until the second half, but our achievement was gettng to Wembley especially when you consider we nearly went bust 30 months ago.

    But I feel for Charlie Austin. That miss was down to the massive 'bobble' just as he was about to hit it, and without his goals in the first place, we wouldn't have got to Wembley in the first place.

    Now we've got to take defeat on the chin, and bounce back like Millwall have done.

    YOU REDS !!!

  • Comment number 2.

    "There or there abouts" only a year after a relegation struggle. Fantastic!

    There are teams who would love to be in the position we are in right now. I am truly a proud fan.

    And next year, 30 (not 20) goal Charlie Austin will most likely strike the Winner.

  • Comment number 3.

    As a Swindon fan I admit I'm hugely disappointed after today's result. I was at the game and we never really got going, except for about 15 minutes in the second half. I'm not angry at Charlie at all, without his goals we wouldn't have got to Wembley in the first place. I think I speak for all town fans when I say just how proud we are of Danny and the boys. This time last season we were delighted to survive relegation, and it speaks volumes of their achievements that we are disappointed to stay in the division again this season. Every single game the lads have given 100% and it's been a joy to watch, and it's certainly the best Swindon team I've seen in my lifetime. It's been a magnificent season and I am so, so proud of all the boys who have just been brilliant since August. Well played Millwall and good luck next season, I'll think you'll need it.

    COYR!

  • Comment number 4.

    Millwall fan here!

    Finally we have won the play-offs! Well done Millwall for a fantastic display! Well done to Kenny Jackett for turning these misfits into winners, he is truly the best football manager out of the Premiership.
    Swindon fans; credit to you, you did well and it was nice to see more than 8,000 fans at Wembley (Scunthorpe)...

    WEMBLEY: What an awful stadium. I went last year but it has seemed to have got a lot worse! The pitch is dreadful (Austin's bobble), food and drink overpriced (£4 a pint and £5.90 for a crummy hot dog and flat Coca-Cola!). You queue to get in, queue to get out, queue queue and more queue... And then you walk through the concourse at half time to find you're stepping in urine! National stadium?! Please... Let's go back to Cardiff!

    AMANKWAAH: Now before people say we're racist by booing this player, let's get the facts out. We booed him (constantly) because when we played them at the Racecourse, he taunted Neil Harris about having testicular cancer... Not a nice person at all... Then failed to apologise properly for this...

    Now lets make it two promotions in a row... C'MON MILLWALL!!!

  • Comment number 5.

    Millwall fan here

    We know how every Swindon fan is feeling at the moment as we experienced the pain of defeat last year. I would say to Swindon fans if you manage to keep the core of your players, notably your front two there is no reason why you can't be in the final this time next year. You've done fantastically well this season and should be proud of your teams effort, regardless of your performance today. Regarding next season I will be keeping a close eye on this league as this seasons been the closest and most competitive for years and if next is similar, everyones in for a treat. With regards to the championship its going to be a stern test but I'm confident we can stay up. Were an organised team and if we continue with our great home form next season and pick up points away we will stay up. Besides the last 10 teams to get promoted from League One have stayed up the following season. The omens are with us!

    Finally commiserations Swindon and best of luck for next season.

    We are going up, say we are going up!!

  • Comment number 6.

    Edit: the last 10 teams to gain promotion from league one via the play offs have stayed in the championship the following season. Apologies!

    COYL!

  • Comment number 7.

    Congratulations to Millwall! It is nice to see them back in the Championship - they are too big a club to be bouncing around in League One, much like Leeds.

    http://the-fa-premier-league.blogspot.com

  • Comment number 8.

    Ralph McTell England, If the BBC do not have any better thoughts on the music for the world cup coverage. Why have the usual guff! Lady Black Mamba poss?

  • Comment number 9.

    Swindon fan here - no complaints you mullered us in the first half. Good luck to you for next season.

  • Comment number 10.

    Swindon did well and came really close in the end but it just wasnt to be. There was alot of good sides in league 1 this year challenging so good luck next year. Im glad it was Robinson who got the winner for us today :)

  • Comment number 11.

    The play-offs are brutal, cruel, and nerve-racking. No fan should have to endure them but I guess they are here to stay as they certainly do keep the season alive for so many teams and earn significant revenue for the teams involved. At least I assume that to be the case but as the final is a Football League event I’ve found it hard to discover what happens to the gate money from Wembley finals. I agree with the previous poster about Wembley. Queuing in the pouring rain to get in, queuing to pay for food and drinks the price and quality of which Wembley should be ashamed, queuing for a call of nature and queuing to queue up!
    As a Millwall fan I know the feeling of losing and I thought the Swindon fans were fantastic and a credit to their club but there’ll be no consoling them – losing the final is demoralising and it took us nearly half the season to get it over it. We had a similar experience last season when our striker missed a massive chance to change the game and it haunted me for a year. Every time I shut my eyes I saw it so I can imagine what Swindon fans must be feeling about Austin’s miss.
    I’m hoping Millwall do a Leicester next season and not a Peterborough but I think the Championship will be tough for us with average gates of 11k. I’d settle for a Scunthorpe if you offered it to me now!

  • Comment number 12.

    Well done to plucky little Millwall. It's always good to see the small clubs experience a bit of success.

  • Comment number 13.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 14.

    Town fan here.

    Congratulations to most Milwall fans, although not the one who screamed an obsenity at me and my young family directly after the game, imagine what this moron would have been like had they lost, you deserved to win and were the better team on the day.

    Hopefully Danny will be able to hold onto most of the team so we can emulate Millwall next season.

    I echo most of the comments about Wembley but my main gripe when I watch games on TV and at the stadium yesterday is the empty seats behind the dugout and tunnel area. These seats are obviously for corperate or invited guests and are rarely full. It looks terrible that the stadium of our national game has empty seats in the best area of the stadium and in full view of the world watching on TV, it just looks wrong.

    The FA have basically prostituted themselves and dumped on the fans, it's a beautiful stadium but a massive rip off.

  • Comment number 15.

    Well done Bermondsey Boys !!! Be sorry for yourself Swindon !!!
    I have to say, that Swindon supporters were really quiet, despite having 30.000 with them at Wembley. If you have the occasion to play at Wembley surely you must stand up and fire your Swindon Town on but you were just sitting there ... our Lions were more fired up there but saying also, in last years final, Millwall was much much more loisier than yesterday ... Swindon had good chances but weren't clinical enough and Millwall was maybe a bit more professional at times and Millwall had a difficult stand with one of the linesman ... We are celebrating and prepare for life in Championship next season and hopefully, Billy Paynter and Jon Douglas join us ...

  • Comment number 16.

    The Swindon players & their fans were very dignified in defeat. Millwall were the better team on the day.

    Millwall fans tried to provoke a reaction after the game, to their credit the Swindon fans didn't react.

    Some Millwall fans continue to bring shame on their club & South London and behave without dignity or class.




  • Comment number 17.

    Millwall, Cardiff and Leeds all in the same division - six Championship games where the stories off the pitch could well eclipse the ones made on the pitch...
    http://sportales.com/soccer/kopstuff-29510-aquilani-to-prove-his-anfield-worth-transfer-funds-in-doubt/

  • Comment number 18.

    There doesn't seem to be any argument about the result.

    Some very gracious comments by Swindon supporters - and I am not surprised to see that they are fully behind Charlie Austin, who has had a terrific first season in league football.

    How much of a blow would it be for Swindon if they lost Billy Paynter, who is now out of contract?

    As for Millwall, they were clearly good value for their win on Saturday and they were roared on by some excellent support.

    I just wonder whether there is any need for commments like post 15, slightly stirring the pot. Millwall won, isn't that enough? Could learn something from mfcdan (post 5) I reckon.

    Not too many kind words for the Wembley matchday experience. Wandered past a sign walking to the ground this morning. Matchday Parking £30. Not exactly a bargain.

  • Comment number 19.

    Paul ,good article but I think you could have been fairer about Charlie's shot.It was a miss though there was nothing he could have done about it but as they say bad stuff happens.
    Millwall well done you deserved it on the day, good luck guys, you are way better prepared for the CC than we would have been. So its all probaly a blessing in disguise although I have to say had we sneaked through it would have been carnage after the game as the short haired fellas with beer cans welded to their hands and poison in their heads would have been there waiting for us to come out of the stadium.
    Our youngsters on the day were overawed by the occaison and you had been there and done that so we were in trouble from the first whistle. Good luck next year but do something with the lunatics before people get seriously hurt. This is not the dark ages.
    Swindon will bounce back but if we keep take young loanees to wembley the same will happen again.

  • Comment number 20.

    Paul - whilst it would be a shame to lose Billy, if he doesn't want to stay then I don't want him. It wouldn't be the end of the world, as I think Danny and the board could find a good replacement for him. Also, credit to Millwall's number 40 (Trotter?) as he was the only one to comfort Austin and our lads. It's understandable that the others wanted to celebrate, it was disappointing to see no sportsmanship from them.

  • Comment number 21.

    Its so sad to hear that win, lose or draw, SOME Millwall fans are always looking to kick off. Its ridiculous.

    Im a Leeds fan, and when we got humiliated by Watford 3-0 a few years back, i never saw a spot of bother. Thats not to say we dont have trouble makers, but i think Millwall take the biscuit. Surely you should be celebrating, not threatening families????

    Not looking forward to having Millwall or Cardiff next year. When we travel to their gaff, we are herded around like cattle, but when they come to ours, they are left to run loose on many occassions. Its the polices fault, they need to keep a lid on it, its surely not that hard? With any luck the games will be changed to friday nights, and only supporters coaches allowed, no independent fan travel.

  • Comment number 22.

    Now then,

    I've written a few blogs about Millwall over the last couple of seasons.

    A lot of the comments/posts/responses have been from Lions fans who are clearly frustrated by the fact that their club are nearly always associated with all the negative aspects - hooliganism, thugs etc - that spring to mind when people think about Milwall.

    I was sat next to a supporter at a recent Millwall game who was furious with other Lions fans invading the pitch and spoiling any hopes of a lap of honour from their players.

    Obviously there are a minority of idiots who sully the club's image for the rest of the genuine fans. From the comments above it sounds as though some of them were in action on Saturday.

    It would be a shame if their behaviour symbolised the club.

  • Comment number 23.

    A Millwall fan.

    Congratulation to Kenny Jacket & his team!!

    I paid for my family to attend last year’s final at Wembley within the corporate Bobby Moore stand. I was embarrassed & shocked by the language being shouted from the normal “f” word to the even more shocking four letter “c” word from “40 year old type” “mature gentlemen”. My family included my two daughters aged 12 & 8 years. There is a time & place to swear!?! Some Millwall fans need to learn this “rule”. Maybe this is why the Bobby Moore stand was so empty this year.


  • Comment number 24.

    As a Swindon fan I have no problems in accepting the result. Millwall were the better team on the day.
    I thought it was absolutely pathetic how a few hundred Millwall fans were allowed to congregate outside Wembley Park station to shout obsenities at the oncoming Swindon fans. Tried to find a pub but was subject to abuse from all angles so were just went straight to the stadium. After the game I had my hat ripped off me and chucked into the crowd and one of the friends had his throat grabbed for no reason. The BTP saw this and took him off, but within 2 minutes he was level with us again. Much larger "minority" of fans taking it all too far than most other clubs. I feel sorry for the real Millwall fans who have to put up with them.

  • Comment number 25.

    Well done Millwall.

    It should have been a more competitive game had Swindon turned up. This time I feel the occasion definitely got to our lads. Town were pretty anonymous at Wembley and in the end I was glad we turned out in white because that wasn't the real Swindon Town. You reds!

  • Comment number 26.

    Well done Millwall, best team won on the day no complaints about your game.

    One complaint though is the behaviour of a proportion of your fans, come on why abuse our black players when you have black players in your team.

    As for the hand gestures in the car park to coaches of Swindon fans with kids on...please grow up.

    No one likes you for a very good reason, sort it out.

  • Comment number 27.

    Shame about Swindon losing yesterday. They should have stayed with their original Red strip not changed it to white.
    I listened to the match on the radio, but watched the highlights on tv later in the evening. I did notice that the pitch was in a bad state, and can't remember the players name who took one of the kicks, when the ball seemed to bounce in the air before he even touched it, that was definitely the pitch at fault.

    The old Wembley Stadium Pitch was known as "The Hallowed Turf".



  • Comment number 28.

    Post 26 - yowieef

    I assume you are referring to the booing ONE of your players got which has nothing to do with his skin colour. You will recall that when our sides met early in the season, Amankwaah saw fit to taunt Millwall's Neil Harris about his battle against testicular cancer. Initially he apologised for his disgusting behaviour, which Harris accepted but your player then tried to 'justify' his actions in the local press by making unfounded allegations against Millwall players which resulted in Harris quite rightly rejecting the now meaningless and worthless apology. Hence, Amankwaah got booed every time he touched the ball,not just yesterday but when he came on as a sub in the league game a few weeks ago. As I say, nothing to do with skin colour but it seems some people are just too quick to jump to their own conclusions.

  • Comment number 29.

    26 - as Phil has said above, we did not racially abuse anyone. If Kevin Amankwaah had been called Kevin Johnson and been white he'd have been booed due to the way he taunted our clubs top goal scorer and (arguably) most beloved player.

    This sort of ill-informed comment smacks of the S*n journalist who accused Millwall fans of performing Nazi salutes and singing 'Sieg Heil', when it was the away fans (Brighton) chanting 'Seagulls'.

    If we'd have been racially booing, surely Francois would have been booed aswell.


    That said, I did despair of the rather large minority of fans who were shouting obscenities at Swindon fans, who were trudging through the cold and wet just like we were. A proper family day out was spoiled for some by Stella fuelled morons.

    RE the comments on the state of the stadium, the lack of toilets was telling. I found the food overpriced (but not by much more than around usual grounds) but my pepperoni pizza was alright. Despite being at the very back (row 30 on level 5) the view was marvellous, with no impairments - barring the bloke in front of me who kept standing up for no apparent reason.

    A good day out, great result.

  • Comment number 30.

    post 26 post 24 etc. there will always be a certain amount of goading at football grounds. If crowds are going to generate the kind of atmosphere which makes the effort and expense of actually going to football worthwhile, you have to open the door to groups of people who might contain the odd @rseh0le / pi$$head. I don't think it's particularly fair to reserve having a special pop at millwalls fans re: what is not necessarily acceptable, but behaviour that is to be expected from the vast majority of clubs- right or wrong?

  • Comment number 31.

    A nice article Paul, it's always nice to hear that Kenny Jackett gets some attention from media sources for the job he does. What also often goes unmentioned is the terrific relationship he has built with the fans. Brilliant manager!

    At Millwall we do have some idiots, but yesterday wasn't about them at all so why the mention? Growing tired of pointless arguments when what is a clear minority are unlikely to be found on 606.

    I'm fairly confident that we can stay in the championship next year, areas of concern would be at full backs against what will be faster wingers and our need for an extra striker. Morison is championship class, however I'm not so certain about Harris/Alexander/Batt. What're the odds on Paynter making a one one trip to South London?

  • Comment number 32.

    Post 26 - Before making a comment, please read my post 4... It explains all...

    Post 29 - I was going to write about THAT Brighton game...

    Millwall fans will ALWAYS get a bad name. Most fans are from deprived 'rough and ready' areas and F and C are normal day to day words. This is not an excuse, this is a fact. I'm embarrassed to share oxygen with some of these "people" but I will always support my local team.
    You will find that most of these "fans" were under the influence of alcohol. People do not know how to control themselves. Is this a time where we have to look into banning alcohol from football? I think so...
    On the way out there was a small group intent on winding the "po-po" up singing "Harry Roberts is our friend!"... What a great friend he is. Inside HMP dropping soap... Superb idol! And not forgetting "Murderers...!!" Get your facts straight lads... OH! And the plebs that ran on the pitch, well done (not)! They are an embarrassment, so please do not come next season, we do not want you...

    Anyway, it's Millwall 1 The FA 0...

  • Comment number 33.

    Ok, so "F" and "C" words get used. I can appreciate that, especially in the heat of the moment.

    What i can't accept is physical violence, which clearly happened yesterday. Also, aiming "f" and "c" words at families! Why?

    Even the thickest morons should surely just have been loving the fact that the Lions got promoted?

    The sad thing is, Millwall to some degrees represents the 'chav' culture that is enveloping England.

    I just feel sorry for the decent Millwall fans (the majority of guys posting here) and the club itself, which is trying to stamp out this element.

    But what do you do? Seriously? Its basically impossible :( If you were a Millwall fan, would you really kick up a fuss about your own fans, then get the living hell beaten out of you?

  • Comment number 34.

    Just a load of sour grapes here. Re; me and other millwall fans, you could be dscribing any club in the world. Grow up and open your eyes, football is a working mans game for working class people. If you want prawn sarnies and no atmosphere go to old trafford. What people describe above is common all over the world in the game. Be it for good or bad. Do you have arrest figures for yesterday to back up this rubbish????

  • Comment number 35.

    And you'll you'll find this on a BBC Blog too

    As a Millwall fan in Club Wembley, we found ourselves immersed in a myriad of hardcore Swindon fans. I was with my daughter 11, and son 13.

    Every Millwall foul was greeted with 4 letter expletives and "Typical f-word Millwall", yet any Swindon transgression was met with "The ref is a c word" and suggestions he checked his eyesight. Some Swindon fans were great and very humble in defeat, but some really tried to provoke us. My kids sang the Millwall anthem, and were told to shut the fword up by one mouthpiece for Wiltshire. In fact one very 'passionate' Millwall fan moved to an empty seat after whispering to me - "Nothing personal, but if I dont move, I will lose it"

    The behaviour of a minority of Lions fans was disgraceful and no decent fan condones it - but it wasn't all one way traffic.

  • Comment number 36.

    Well done Millwall - a great and well deserved day. I think the best 3 teams went up in the end, though with Leeds and Millwall in the wrong order. Kenny Jackett's done a great job and developed a team that should be able to hold it's own next year.

    I don't normally feel sorry for the opposition, but the play-off final is a terrible place to lose. Swindon were the best of the other play-off teams and I reckon they'll be up there again next year.

    A lot of nonsense is quoted about Millwall fans - especially in the press. We've got some brilliant supporters, a bit rough round the edges maybe, but passionate about our club. Unfortunately, these big games do seem to attract a chavvy minority that latch on and try to live-up to the public image. If it's any consolotation, they're as embarrasing to many of us as they are to other supporters. Likewise, we got some abuse from some Swindon fans after the match, but everyone's got them.

    Anyway, Super Lions - we're back!

  • Comment number 37.

    Cardiff City fan here

    Fantastic show out from both teams. A class playoff and very tense to watch. Congratulations to the 'wall and look forward to entertaining them in the Championship. Also hoping they help put Swansea back down where they belong!

    Swindon's time will come.

  • Comment number 38.

    28, 32 Phillwall, Jimbothelion,

    I can accept why you booed him, but Jean Fracois got booed in both halves too a couple of times, that shows some degree of ignorance does it not?

    However that said, the best team won on the day, you bossed the middle of the park and I was glad when Batt went off as he was a constant thorn in the side, he reminds me of a young Carlton Palmer before his eyes went and he couldnt pick a pass out for toffee.

    Good luck for next season, I hope you can get rid of the morons that follow you round.

  • Comment number 39.

    One thing that still perplexes me is why the Millwall keeper wasn't at least booked for clearly handling outside the area.

  • Comment number 40.

    yowieef... I think you're getting a bit carried away... My missus watched the game on Sky, and she said that all you could hear were boos when AMANKWAAH got the ball. I asked her if any other player was booed and she said no (as a Millwall fan you have to prepare for the negative racist comments - it's part of life)...

    I honestly think that Swindon could make a go with it if you got a whole new defence, including a new keeper... If you had, you may have won on Saturday...

    Anyway, we're all mentioned bad Millwall fan experience. When I was on the tube four stone Swindon youths got on and decided to try and provoke us Millwall fans - then infront of a plethora of children decided to sing "AMANKWAAH has a huge c***" chant at the tops of their voices... Hmmmm... Morons... This shows we all have 'em... Total plonkers who need a good slap...

    Good luck Swindon, you have a top manager, a good attacking team but a poor defence... Hopefully we'll see you in the Championship next season...

  • Comment number 41.

    Swindon Town fan here.

    Millwall deserved the victory. Why couldn't Town make it more of a game?

    Wembley is such a difficult place for a team to perform when behind and under performing. The cavernous stadium swallowed what little atmosphere was generated by the dispersed Town faithful, lost amongst 32,000 Swindonians in the west end at Wembley.

    Of course, with our average attendance only just over the 8,000 mark, there were many, rightfully, out for the day to support their hometown club. These supporters, more than others, really needed the team to inspire them, to get them going, by at least a few shots on goal and a period of sustained pressure, but nothing materialised either on the pitch or in the stands. Ultimately there wasn’t any inspiration, so it was only expected that the Millwall fans dominated and drowned out the Town support throughout the game. This of course only perpetuated the cycle, resulting in the Town eleven looking anxious and playing a tense game. No wonder we lost.

    http://thewashbag.com

  • Comment number 42.

    38. yowieef:

    Give it a rest. I was there and there was no targeted booing of anyone except Amankwaah who, for the reasons above, deserved all the stick he got. Racism in football is a serious matter and few clubs have done more than Millwall to tackle it so I'm finding your attempts to create a 'story' out of nothing here a bit of an insult now.

  • Comment number 43.

    As a Millwall fan and as a father of a mixed race son, who is Millwall mad and attends all home games with my dad and me, I find this constant inference that Amankwah was booed for his colour very tiresome. Firstly, I would not subject my son to running the gauntlet every other weekend. Secondly, in spite of the negative publicity we receive, I am pleased to see the steady increase in supporters of OUR club from the different ethnic groups in our community and thirdly, ask our black players for their experience of the Millwall fans. Jimmy Abdou couldn't be more popular if he was Barry Kitchener & Harry Cripps' love child. Yes, we have morons, racist and otherwise, as does society as a whole, but you would think it was Millwall only who had these type of fans. I do get embarassed on occasion by the behaviour of some of our so called fans, but I resent the focus always being on this minority. As an example, when Craig Bellamy was pelted by Man U fans last season (odious little chap as he is) it warranted one sentence in the paper - if that was at Millwall the press would have a field day. The more the press and others insist on focusing on the negative the more idiots will align themselves to Millwall and the more entrenched will the majority of Millwall's faithful be in our assertion, 'No One Likes Us, We don't care'.

    Good luck to Swindon for next season, we've shown you the way!

  • Comment number 44.

    At last a win at Wembley and thoroughly deserved too!. This win was about the tactics laid out by Kenny Jackett and the pure desire to put them into play by the entire Millwall team, there was no way this was going to be a high scoring game.
    Millwall had leaders on the pitch too Robinson and Harris never let the own team mates rest let alone the opposition!. Swindon on the other hand looked rudderless and how their captain must regret the stupid foul which saw him sent off in the semi-final.
    It was nice to see a good turn-out from both clubs which added to the whole occasion, there was a little tension outside the ground but what can you expect when 18+ year old men/boys have been drinking for 6 hours.
    One last comment, why do they insist on keeping the loosing team on the pitch untill the winners have collected the trophy? nearly all the loosing supporters have gone and the players and staff from Swindon just needed to get back to their dressing room as quickly as the could, I am sure Millwall would have understood.

  • Comment number 45.

    Re Post 21 - Nothing to do with this blog I know but Leeds fans just can't help it can they?
    Just for your information, when Millwall go to Leeds only members (of the club) are allowed to go and we can't buy tickets for the game - only vouchers - which have to be exchanged at a designated spot and at a designated time both of which we are not allowed to know until 3 hours beforehand and then travel to the ground is only permitted on official coaches. If that isn't treating all fans as being 'guilty' I don't know what is!
    I don't blame Leeds or their fans for this. Too much in Football is controlled by the Police these days. Just like the Met dictate everything at Millwall. Not only do they dictate times of kick-offs, days of the week that a match can and cannot be played on, they also charge the club for the privilege of over policing games and gobbling up as much as overtime as they can.
    Footballs fans should focus on the real culprits, not each other. In my experience Millwall have only their fare share of moron, no more or no less than every other club.

  • Comment number 46.

    Just like to say that the Millwall fan that was knocked unconcious by a group of 12 Swindon fans is making a steady recovery - hopefully the Met Police have the culprits that broke hif jaw on camera!!

    Do not seem to have read any Swindon fans mention any of this though - strange really as they seem most put out by a few banterous chants!!

  • Comment number 47.

    RE: 38

    No, Francois did not get boo'd, I was there. Amanwaah did purely for his disgusting comments and reasoning towards Neil harris (who, if you didn't know, is a complete Legend at Millwall)

    Comes across as pure sour grapes mate. Accept defeat and move on like we did last year, don't try lame excuses to give us an undeserved bad name

  • Comment number 48.

    I seem to remember Wilson having a dig at Norwich (my team) ealier in the season for being 'bottlers'... Who are the bottlers now.. don't remember our strikers having any trouble with 'bobbles'!

  • Comment number 49.

    Lovely_Geezer

    Was that the guy on the path towards Wembley Park? Hope he makes a full recovery and they get the people who did it.

    Good luck to you guys in the Championship next year.

  • Comment number 50.

    Leeds fan saying well done Millwall.

    Your 2nd half form was fantastic and I was surprised we managed to hold 2nd place from you.

    You'll be fine in the CCC if you keep your manager and best players.

    I hope we can do the same.

  • Comment number 51.

    Well down Wall you done us proud over the play-off games and gave us the win at Wembley that we deserved after years of failure. Was glad to see Harris get a Wembley win with us because I just can't see him getting abother shot at it which leads me to the subject of the right back Amankwaah - we are talking about a guy whose lack of moral fibre led to him winding Neil up about his battle against testicular cancer, there is a line and he launched himself over it (pretty much like he did for the OG that was disallowed - would have been oh so sweet). Any neutrals watching the game can be forgiven for not realising why he was caned everytime he touched the ball but surely Swindon fans should have realised why?!

    As for the swearing issue - like many clubs outside of the Premiership we are a proper club with working class/docker routes and even other Millwall fans should realise you will never take this away from the club. Whether you like it or not its who we are - Millwall's in the middle of Bermondsey, The Ol' Kent Road, Deptford and Peckham - what else do you expect? Not for one second am I condoning the idiot 'day tripper/happy clappers' who turn up for Wembley outtings, it actually makes my blood boil seeing them E.I.O'ing with a can of lager in their hands knowing full well they dont ever follow/support the team. They dont represent Wall and they make us look muggy to all who see them.

    But every club has a minority like that and for 12 Swindon supporters (or were they day trippers too?) to go for one Millwall supporter is outrageous! I suspect the guy probably left early and found himself walking Wembley way with the Swindon supporters. Bully's and im bloody sure they would not have been so macho had there been any other Wall around - probably quite the opposite.

    However, Swindon looked decent against Charlton in the semi's, should try to hold on to the front two (unless we try and get our hands on Austin) and had a good turnout at Wembley which made a nice change from seeing Millwall play teams who only bring a few thousand (Wigan, Scunthorpe hsould be ashamed).

    Special note for the announcer at Wembley who saw fit to play 'Let 'em Come' five or six times on the spin at the end - mustard!

    Great games ahead next season - come on you Lions!



 

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.