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Palace loan striker looking to make most of Millwall return
MILLWALL striker Jermaine Easter says he came back to The Den for a second loan spell to get some game time.
The Palace loanee, who replaced Dany N’Guessan after 57 minutes at The Valley, netted his first goal in his second spell with the Lions with his first touch of the ball against Charlton on Saturday.
And the forward admitted he has returned to SE16 to spend some time on the pitch.
“I’m just here to play football, it’s been a frustrating season for me,” explained Easter.
“I’ve not played a lot of football.
“I think this was my 12th appearance of the season and seven of them have been off the bench.
“It hasn’t been a great year, so for me it is just about coming and playing football.”
He added: “It was looking like a stalemate to be honest, neither side created many clear-cut opportunities so it was pleasing to get the opening goal because I felt after that the game opened up slightly.
“Richard Chaplow put the cross in and I managed to get across the near post and got a decent contact on the ball.”
Easter also feels he will play a similar role at The Den to the one for which he was used in his rare first team appearances this season at Selhurts Park.
He said: “Kenny put me on the left of the three, which is what Ian Holloway had been doing.
“To be fair, having worked with Ollie he is very good with rotation and getting in between the lines, so I have picked up a few things from him.
“I brought some of them into the game, which is why I probably got the opportunity I got today.
“Rather than just staying on the left-hand-side, I came inside and was able to get on the end of something.
“I’ve settled in pretty quickly, I know quite a few of the lads anyway from playing against them.
“They’re a great bunch of lads and there will be no difficulty settling in.
“Obviously with the international break I think we’ll have a few days off, but like I say I know all the lads anyway so it’s pretty easy to settle in.
“We need to take one game at a time and that’s that, we are in a relegation dogfight at the moment.
“We need to get out of that before we think about anything else.”
And Easter was full of admiration for new team-mate Shane Lowry after his stunning 30-yard free-kick sealed victory for the Lions six minutes after his own opener.
He said: “It was a fantastic strike from Lowry.
“It was sort of Gareth Bale-esque, it was brilliant.
“When we got the second goal it became a lot more comfortable for us.
“You could see the confidence in the lads, we started to pop it a bit and it was a very pleasing win.”
On Saturday Easter notched Millwall’s opener little over a minute after coming on, which was slightly different to his debut in his first loan spell in 2008.
Easter recalled: “I got sent off.
“I elbowed someone, it was actually against Jack Smith. I think he made a meal of it though.
“Getting sent off, I’m my own worst critic and I think that killed my loan spell.
“I missed three games and Neil Harris came in at the time and started scoring goals.
“The manager did not want to change the team, which was understandable, so I think that sending off killed my loan spell. It was disappointing.”
But despite the previous bad history, the striker had no hesitation in joining the Lions again when the opportunity arose last week.
“I spoke to Kenny on Tuesday and as soon as I got the call it was a no-brainer to come and play for him,” Easter said.
“Obviously I’ve played for him before so I know how he works and geographically it was perfect because I didn’t have to move or anything like that.
“It’s still a great club, the fans still come in their thousands and they are really passionate.
“I’ve only been here a few days so I haven’t noticed many changes.
“Kenny is a real top manager and he is ultra-professional in his approach.
“I know that hasn’t changed because he was like that in League One.
“The fans are really passionate people and they come in their thousands and they sing louder than anyone else.
“They’re a good bunch of fans to play for.”
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