During the last international break, I was desperate for the domestic campaign to start again. This time around, I think a break is just what the Lions need.

After some great performances at home to Leeds and Reading, last weekend’s surprise defeat to Barnsley was a bit of a reality check. Seen by some as a chance to get one over the Tykes after their Wembley victory in 2016, Saturday was a damp squib from start to finish.

I was fortunate enough to spend the afternoon in the club’s hospitality lounge courtesy of the club’s new betting partner, Energybet. Arriving at the Den earlier than even the hardiest of autograph hunters, the day started with a couple of pints before a brief tour of the changing rooms and tunnel area with former Lions favourites Jimmy Carter and Les Briley.

Back upstairs for a three-course dinner and a glass of red. Pre-match activities culminated in a short Q&A with former striker, Paul Moody who looked like he had just rolled out of bed. All this made for a smashing afternoon. Then the football started.

After falling behind midway through the first half, it looked like being a long afternoon in SE16 before a fortuitous Lee Gregory penalty sent us in level at the break.

Musing over the first 45 minutes with my free tea and biscuits, consensus amongst the prawn sandwich brigade was things could only get better. As it turned out, the only thing that did improve was Barnsley’s ‘goals for’ tally. Two further strikes for the visitors put paid to any hopes of another comeback win.

News Shopper:

Steve Morison is running on empty | Picture: Benjamin Peters Photography​

As the commoners made their way to the exits, us in the posh seats slinked back to our tables to deliberate who to select as our man of the match. Jed Wallace was the (un)lucky recipient - the club seemingly overlooking my own vote for the chef.

Wallace cut a disconsolate figure as he collected his trophy, visibly upset at the team’s first defeat in four games. A small crumb of comfort came during the raffle as ticket 741 was called out, meaning I left The Den with two bottles of the finest Chilean wine. Millwall may have gone down 3-1 but my win surely makes that 3-3 on aggregate?

We now have over a week until the next fixture away at Brentford. Fingers crossed, those on international duty come back in one piece. It also gives a chance for some players to have a well-earned rest.

Steve Morison has been running on empty for a number of weeks now and with Tom Elliott close to returning to full training, it would come as blessed relief to have another striking option. Throughout his career, Morison has been plagued by accusations of laziness. Although this is nonsense, at 34 he simply can’t continue playing week in, week out.

Shaun Williams’ injury is another blow to the ranks but it does give the likes of Ryan Tunnicliffe and Ben Thompson a chance to stake a claim in central midfield.

The next batch of fixtures will be a test for Neil Harris and his squad. If we’re still sitting 14th in 12 games time, I might crack open a bottle of red. Here’s hoping…