PAUL Robinson admits the arrival of Steve Lomas as manager has freshened things up at The Den.

Millwall may have reached the FA Cup semi-final last season but the cup run coincided with an alarming dip in league form, with goal scoring a major problem in the final months of the Championship campaign.

Only results elsewhere on the final day ensured Millwall survived despite a 1-0 defeat at Derby County in what proved to be Kenny Jackett’s last game of his five-and-a-half year tenure.

But his summer replacement Lomas has been a busy man in the transfer market with the arrivals of Lee Martin and Steve Morison giving a much needed boost to the club’s attacking options.

And Robinson, who played 45 minutes in Saturday’s 2-0 friendly win at Crawley on his return to first team action from injury, believes the new boss has introduced a renewed sense of optimism at The Den.

He said: “It has been good for everyone, it has shaken everyone up and it gives everyone a fresh start.

“Coming in for pre-season everyone is starting from the same base really with a new manager to impress and a chance to earn your right to be in the team.

“We’ve done a lot of hard work over the last three weeks and now the games start you start to see the rewards from it.

“I’m delighted to be back out there and really pleased to be back involved in the playing.

“As you can see I’m still very rusty and there's a lot of work to do but that is the fun part I think.

“Just getting your positional sense back and your timing and working on relationships with players – all of that will come over time.

“My feet felt like they were stuck to the ground a few times but I’m just delighted that I’m back out there after a long time.

“The manager has been great from the start and physio Bobby Bacic has overseen everything.

“They’ve been very good about managing me and making sure it is done very sensibly and very methodically so that I’m back and stay back.”

When asked to explain what the main difference between Jackett and Lomas there was in pre-season training, Robinson replied: “I’d say it has been a lot more football based.

“With Kenny you do a lot of hard work maybe running wise with straight running whereas with the new manager he has come in and a lot of the hard work is also done with the football, which makes it a lot more enjoyable and a lot more game related.”

The return of Morison as a much needed striking addition and former player Neil Harris as a coach means Robinson has been reunited with some familiar faces at the club, something which pleases the defender.

Robinson said: “They’ve just slotted right back in.

“They are good characters, good people around the place and people who want to do well for the club so it is great to have them back.

“Hopefully they will be part of a successful season here.

“The target remains the same, we want to be a top half Championship side.

“I think you’ve seen with the new manager and the way he is being backed as well we are still an ambitious club here and a club which wants to achieve things.

“We will be working hard towards that and there are probably more faces to come in yet so it will be a good competitive squad.

“Like I say, getting into the top half of the Championship on a consistent basis year on year is a realistic aim for this club.”

Robinson also welcomed the recent attacking additions, especially considering the goals shortage at the tail end of last season.

“The manager has been very clear he doesn’t want to be faced with a similar problem this season. He has been very active in the transfer market.

“He wants to bring forward players in, have options and players who can get him goals and win him games.”

Robinson spent most of 2012-13 watching from the sidelines and is the first to accept he will have his work cut out regaining his starting place after Danny Shittu and Mark Beevers both impressed at the heart of the defence during his absence.

However, Robbo is up for the challenge and believes competition is the name of the game.

“That’s what it is all about, if you are going to be part of a good club then there is always going to be competition for places.

“Mark and Danny had an excellent season last season but the challenge is there for me and Karleigh Osborne to get ourselves back in the team and play ahead of them.

“If you are playing then you know you’ve got to be on your game every week because there is someone there very willing and able to take your place.

“Competition for places is good for the club as a whole and will take us forward definitely.”

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