Ryan Tunnicliffe hopes his performances can keep Millwall midfielder Shaun Williams out of the team.

Tunnicliffe, 24, has impressed since replacing Williams, who suffered a serious knee injury in September.

But the former MK Dons man returned to first-team training this week and is likely to feature before the end of the year.

And Tunnicliffe, who has started the last 10 games during Williams’ absence, told News Shopper: “I think you’re always looking over your shoulder because there’s no guaranteed spot.

“If I came in the team and underperformed then the gaffer would have had me straight back out. So it’s another player added to the midfield mix and one who was starting at the beginning of the season.

“I’ll be looking over my shoulder and he’ll be in the same position as I was at the start of the season, chomping at the bit to get in the team. So I’ll have to keep performing to keep him out.

“I feel like I’ve been playing at a decent enough level and obviously with the competition in midfield, it keeps you on your toes a bit more so it’s good for the squad.

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“Hopefully it’ll push me on to perform even better to keep him out.”

Tunnicliffe joined Millwall on a free transfer in the summer following his release from Fulham.

Williams played alongside George Saville in midfield at the start of the season with the ex-Manchester United trainee having to bide his time.

But since Williams’ injury, Tunnicliffe has been a regular starter under boss Neil Harris.

He has played for nine different clubs in his career, but believes Millwall can bring him stability.

He added: “I’ve always played my best football under managers that want me a lot.

“And that’s exactly how it is with the gaffer here. He’s a people’s person, he’s a players’ manager and makes you feel warm and welcome.

“He makes you want to give 110 per cent every time you go on the pitch. That’s what I feel like I’ve been doing, and long may it continue.”