Defender out to prove bookies wrong after Leeds win

Mark Beevers fires Millwall in front with a rare goal against Leeds. Picture by Edmund Boyden.

Mark Beevers fires Millwall in front with a rare goal against Leeds. Picture by Edmund Boyden.

First published in Sport News Shopper: Photograph of the Author by , sports editor

Defender Mark Beevers is convinced Millwall can defy their pre-season billing as relegation candidates by proving the doubters wrong in the Championship this year.

The Lions have had to complete final day survival bids in the past two years but made the perfect start to 2014-15 by beating Leeds United 2-0 at The Den on Saturday.

Beevers gave Millwall the perfect start by firing the hosts in front after just eight minutes, a lead doubled by Shaun Williams’ late penalty following a foul on debutant striker Lee Gregory.

And the opening scorer is hoping his side can defy the bookies who listed Ian Holloway’s side as one of the most likely to be involved in a relegation scrap, claiming the Lions can achieve whatever they want to.

Beevers said: “The sky is the limit in my opinion.

“We’ve got the players in the squad to go all the way.

“The manager has been saying as we came into the dressing room that we are second favourites to go down, and that’s disrespectful to be honest with what the manager has done at his previous clubs and the players we've got down here.

“We’ve got some really good players so I don’t see why we are second favourites.

“But we can just answer those people who have put us in that category by winning games and playing well, which is what we’ve done today.

“We’ve done nothing so far, we’ve won game and we’ve got to take it into the next one and progress from there.”

Beevers’ goal against Leeds was only his second since joining the club from Sheffield Wednesday almost two years ago.

“I don’t get many like that to be fair,” he admitted.

“It was just nice to score.

“I’ve been down here three years now and I’ve got one in the first game down against Crystal Palace, which was a massive goal, but it is nice to get one down at The Den in front of a great crowd today.

“I thought it was going to be the winner but Shaun Williams stepped up and got the penalty.

“It is nice to get that two-goal cushion and it looked as though we were getting the three points as soon as Shaun put that in.

“On a personal note it was really good to score.”

Holloway has now had the opportunity to do a full pre-season with the Millwall squad and Beevers revealed the boss has made his mark over the summer.

“All pre-season we’ve worked really hard,” he explained.

“The manager has come in and he has got a style of play which he wants in install into the players. The lads have took it on well and we’ve showed that today.

“People think about Millwall as long ball but the boys have shown today that we can pass it around as well, we can do both sides of the game.

“We’ve got Ricardo Fuller up top with Lee Gregory who can get hold of it and win a ball in the air, but we’ve also got players who can pass it around.

“It was a good performance but at the end of the day it was good to get three points on the board.”

Beevers added: “He (Ollie) has got it more organised, he has come in, he has got a certain way of doing things and has installed that into us from day one both on and off the pitch.

“If you do that off the pitch then you get the rewards on the pitch, which is what we've done today.

“All managers have got a different way of playing.

“Looking back at the first game last season (Yeovil) I thought we were unlucky to come out and lose to be honest.

“I thought we absolutely peppered Yeovil but we've come out losing 1-0 to a horrible goal by Ed Upson.

“It was one of those things but like I say every manager has got a different way of doing things and this time around it has started off pretty well.”

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