Scott Malone claims to have found an extra yard of pace during the club’s seven game unbeaten run as Millwall edge ever closer to safety.
It looked like a first defeat since late March was on the cards on Saturday after Charlie Austin’s 78th minute penalty put QPR in front against the Lions.
However, Malone had other ideas and rescued a point with a 90th minute equaliser to ensure the south-east London side go into the final game against Bournemouth this weekend outside of the bottom three and with their fate in their own hands.
And the 23-year-old believes he has flourished more than most throughout the welcome upturn in fortunes over the past month, even against QPR when his pre-match preparations were disrupted by sickness the previous evening.
Malone explained: “Personally I think I’ve found an extra yard.
“I don’t know where it has come from over the last couple of weeks but I think I really suit the way we are starting to play now as an outlet on the left.
“I just feel a little bit sharper. I was under the weather last night, I didn’t travel to the hotel. I was a bit ill.
“There was a bit of a bug going around but I think everyone has got over that now.
“To play like that and get a point and a goal was nice after last night.
“I was always going to play but I didn’t want to give it to some of the lads at the hotel so I just stayed at home and came in this morning.”
It would have been harsh on Millwall to have lost the game as they had the better chances, particularly in the first half.
But they shot themselves in the foot when substitute Simeon Jackson needlessly conceded the late spot-kick which Austin converted.
“All of the lads in the dressing room were looking at each other thinking we should have won that,” revealed Malone.
“I didn’t see the penalty incident. I’ve gone to block the cross, it has gone past me and he has pointed to the penalty spot.
“I was a bit mystified but all the lads are saying it was a penalty so I believe them.
“We are making quite a habit of going behind and coming back.
“I think it shows a great attitude and earlier on in the season we weren’t doing that which is why where we are.
“Thankfully we got a point against Watford after coming back from 2-1 and another valuable point here after going 1-0 down so I think that will really help in terms of staying up.”
Malone also emphasised the positive difference the appointment of Ian Holloway has made at the club.
“He has come in and has tried to get this philosophy into us the way we are playing.
“He is massive on structure and I think it took us a little bit of time to get used to that.
“These seven games it has clicked. We haven’t lost in seven and he has done a massive job.
“His record of getting to the play-off finals three years out of the last four isn’t bad, is it?
“He has done a great job coming in at the end of this year and hopefully we can get Championship status for next year and then really kick on.”
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