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Jackett hails captain Shittu after Charlton win
MILLWALL manager Kenny Jackett praised centre-back Danny Shittu after another captain’s performance for the Lions in today’s 2-0 derby victory at Charlton.
Shittu headed Millwall into an FA Cup semi-final at Wembley on Wednesday and led his side to victory again this lunchtime as Jackett’s side got the better of their south London rivals at The Valley.
Jackett, whose team moved level on points with Charlton, said: “He has played a captain’s role all season in both boxes.
“He has been a very big player for us, deserves to be captain and he leads out there.
“You could see, in another very good performance, he is very proud to play for the club.”
Shittu has stepped in as captain in the absence of Paul Robinson to long-term injury and Jackett admits he is not sure who would claim the armband once Robinson returns.
“It would be a nice problem to have,” said Jackett. “When I originally signed Danny it was to play with Robinson, because in his last spell they formed a very good partnership.
“You can’t have enough leaders anyway and if I end up with two I will be very happy.”
However, Jackett is not expecting Robinson back this season. The Millwall boss confirmed: “His progression is good but I think he needs to set himself to have a good pre-season and then be able to go on from there.”
Jackett also hailed Shane Lowry after the defender’s long-range free-kick doubled Millwall’s lead shortly after substitute Jermaine Easter scored the opener at The Valley.
He said: “I can’t say he (Lowry) has necessarily practiced that but he showed fantastic confidence.
“There was no disguise on it, he just took the responsibility and did it and the keeper had no chance. It was a great strike.
“It was an outstanding free-kick and I was really pleased he took the responsibility.
“It is one thing doing it on the training ground but another thing doing it in front of the crowd.
“A great free-kick and the keeper had no chance - it absolutely sailed in.”
Charlton also had chances to take the lead before Easter tucked in Richard Chaplow’s cross in the 58th minute and Jackett believes the opener was the pivotal moment.
He said: “The first goal was always going to be crucial.
“It was a very local derby and conditions were tough but a crucial first goal and a very good week for us overall.
“The system we play in has made us solid and made us competitive and got us some clean sheets, but my own frustrations sometimes have been going forward - how many goals are we going to score?
“Since Christmas that has been our question and what we are trying to work at and I don’t mean necessarily bringing players in but finding the right system and pattern.
“It is something we need to keep working on.”
Jackett added: “We started this morning five points off the bottom of the league and we need to get going.
“Hopefully the players can take confidence from what has been a very good week.
“I thought the performance of Lowry at centre-half, and Adam Smith coming back, were very good.
“Both of those guys played well.
“We’ve got Beevers suspended and Osborne injured today but I think that is the nature of this stage of the season for a lot of clubs.
“When we start again against Leicester in two weeks there is 11 games in 37 days, so you need a big squad and you need adaptable players because injuries and suspensions will happen.
“On the back of being away on Wednesday and live on TV, to come into a local derby today it was a big effort from the players and they stuck in there.
“It is an intense period and I think in April we play every Tuesday with an FA Cup tie bang in the middle.
“It is an exciting time but we have to make sure the squad is ready and big enough, but also get going and playing well and get results to preserve our status as a Championship club.
“That’s out number one priority and then go into the semi-final.”
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