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PREVIEW: Millwall v QPR
STEVE Lomas reckons his side are capable of ending Queens Park Rangers’ unbeaten start to the Championship season – provided they finish the game with a full complement of players.
Millwall have already had three players sent off this season, the latest Alan Dunne’s dismissal in the 5-2 defeat at Bournemouth on October 5.
That was the second time the full-back has seen red having also been given his marching orders in the 1-1 draw at Brighton.
Dunne will now miss this weekend’s Den encounter with the high-flying Hoops, but Lomas sees no reason why his side can’t inflict a first loss on their moneybags London rivals.
“That’s what is good about the Championship, on any given day you can compete in this division,” he said.
“It is 11 v 11. Well, hopefully it is if we don’t get another one sent off!
“I think that has been a massive Achilles heel for us, three sendings off already at this stage of the season just gives us a mountain to climb so we’ve got to address that.
“It is hard enough winning games of football with 11 players but it is nigh on impossible to do it with 10.
“But we are looking forward to Saturday, it is a great challenge for the boys and myself against a team full of internationals and made up of players who probably think they should be in the Premier League.
“Those challenges are there to be taken up.”
QPR may be unbeaten, but it is fair to say they have yet to play an away game at a venue as electric as The Den.
And Lomas is urging the home fans to play their part at the same time as acknowledging it is down to Millwall’s players to raise the atmosphere first.
“The crowd played a massive role in the last two home games against Blackpool and Leeds,” the manager explained.
“They were boisterous but then again that was because we gave them something to cheer about.
“I think it is a two-way street whereby it is down to us to give them something to cheer about.
“But once they are behind you it is fantastic, it lifts you as a player, gives you energy and makes you want to run that bit more.”
Millwall will be desperate to bounce back from back-to-back heavy defeats at Birmingham and Bournemouth, but Lomas was undecided on whether the international break had come at a good or bad time for his side.
“It is a difficult one,” he admitted.
“We’ve tried to analyse it, there was another sending off at Bournemouth, which doesn’t help, but the Birmingham game hurt more because for 40 minutes against Bournemouth we were very good.
“They got a goal just before half-time and it maybe knocked the confidence out of us a wee bit.
“Even at 3-2 you still think you can get back in it, but once you give away a penalty and a sending off then the game is effectively dead.”
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