MILLWALL first team coach Tim Breacker will be hoping to experience a very different post-match feeling from the last time the two rivals met when the Lions host Charlton on Saturday.
Breacker was then Valley boss Phil Parkinson’s assistant as Charlton crashed to a heavy 4-0 defeat at the hands of neighbours Millwall in March 2010.
It was the Lions who ended up winning promotion at the end of the season and Breacker was sacked along with Parkinson shortly after the Addicks were taken over in January 2011.
But now he is firmly in the Millwall camp following his appointment by Kenny Jackett as first team coach at The Den and takes on his old club for the first time since his dismissal when the Addicks make the short trip to SE16 on Saturday.
Breacker told News Shopper: “I’m looking forward to it.
“There have been a lot of changes since I was there.
“Johnnie Jackson is someone we signed, other than that there aren’t many others there I know.
“I’m not surprised they’ve had so many changes because I knew the situation at the club when I went there and even before I joined there was talk about them selling it and they weren’t going to invest any more money.
“It was all about cutting the cloth so for a lot of the time we were sort of begging, stealing and borrowing players and trying to move other ones on.
“We moved on a lot of players and brought some money in so when there was eventually a takeover we knew it was very lean without any baggage or players who weren’t wanted on long contracts or on too much money for the division.
“It was right for that sort of thing to be taken over and added to.
“For most of the time we were there it was meetings about cutting rather than improving and bringing people in, so it would have been nice to see that job through.
“I really enjoyed my time there. Sometimes there was quite a lot of adversity, not just on the playing side but also with the staff at the club, who were really good people, and a lot of them lost their jobs.
“It was quite a difficult time but one I look back on in a funny way as being a period I enjoyed because we felt the division was very tough the year Millwall got promoted.
“With Norwich, Leeds and Huddersfield also up there it was very tough.
“The next year we were still up there and in the fight even though we had cut again.”
He added: “The new owners obviously had their own people they wanted to bring in and had their way they wanted to do it, so fair enough.
“I was disappointed but in some ways I realised for the sake of the club it had to be done and that is the way it is.
“In some ways we helped because we were still competitive and up near the top of the league it helps to sell it.
“We did the job we were asked to do and so be it.”
Parkinson is also back in work as the manager of League Two promotion hopefuls Bradford City and Braecker revealed there is no bad feeling from the former Valley boss about his abrupt departure following the takeover.
“I do speak to him,” the Millwall coach explained.
“Our families know each other and although I can’t speak for him I don’t think he is in any way particularly bitter about it, he just knows that is the way it was.
“When he took me in there he told me how it was and you get on with it.
“That’s the case at a lot of clubs, you never know behind the scenes everything which is going on.
“When a club is like that where they are trying to cut things then obviously it comes through to the players and it can be quite difficult to keep it going.
“From Phil’s point of view he would have like to have seen it through.
“It was a great club, really nice people there and now the infrastructure is there to take it forward, which they’ve done.”
But Breacker’s recollections of that 4-0 hiding Charlton suffered at The Den were not so positive.
He said: “There was a very good atmosphere at the ground.
“Obviously it didn’t go the way I wanted at the time but it was quite a good lesson for some of our boys on the day in terms of just how competitive the division was at the time.
“As much as anything one of our messages after the game to our players was how much Millwall were up for the game and how much they wanted it and it proved.
“Steve Morison was on fire at the time and we couldn’t handle him.
“Millwall were worthy winners on the day and it is quite hard to take, especially in derbies, so they aren’t nice memories for myself.
“But I’m sure the Millwall supporters would have really enjoyed it.”
Breacker added: “The game against Leeds was almost like a derby game with the atmosphere and the history between the clubs.
“I think it will be another big derby game.
“Like every game in this division it will be another battle.
“You’ve just got to hang in there and hopefully take your chances when they come along.
“There is no let up at all in the Championship, it is a very tough league and it makes it quite entertaining. “All of the players realise there are no easy games.
“If you take your foot off the pedal for any given time then you can’t compete in a division like this, you would be extremely lucky to get away with it.
“You’ve got to be full pelt every game and I’m sure it will be the same with the Charlton game.”
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