"We'll handle it": Sheffield Wednesday will front up against 'vociferous' Millwall atmosphere
The ‘vociferous’ nature of Millwall’s vocal supporters is just another factor for Sheffield Wednesday to overcome as they prepare for tomorrow’s clash at The Den.
The east London ground is often recognised as one of the most intimidating in the football league. And it’s a reputation that has been stoked by the Lions’ new captain Alex Pearce after an opening day win over Preston that saw Millwall’s support at its most vocal.
Pearce said: “Saturday was a great feeling and it’s given us a nice taste of what it could be like at The Den. We all want more of it.
“It’s a new group and it feels like a new era, a fresh start for everyone. That can bring its own impetus, as we saw when the stadium was rocking. Thankfully we were able to get the result, which helped with the atmosphere and also the upcoming game.
“It was great at The Den [during the win over Preston]. It felt like there was a massive buzz around the place from everyone.”
It’s a hurdle Sheffield Wednesday will front up against according to caretaker boss Lee Bullen, who acknowledged the impact the crowd can have there.
“It is what it is, you deal with it and we know what we’re going to come up against on that front,” he said.
“I think the substitutes like warming up on the side of the pitch, there are usually some pretty choice words shouted there, but you expect that.
“Big Atdhe and Boydy got plenty last year, but if you’re warming up on the side of the pitch with a ponytail then quite often you’re a target!”
The clash is Wednesday’s first trip to Millwall on a Saturday since 2006 – with the previous five encounters taking place on weeknights.
And that suits in-form Wednesday forward Steven Fletcher, who admitted he does not have fond memories of The Den.
“I have only been down there once,” he said. “It was a Tuesday night, freezing cold, the pitch wasn’t the best. It wasn’t a good experience.
“We have started well, a lot of confidence, so hopefully we can take that into the weekend.”
Bullen said: “They’re supporters that are just desperate for their team to have success, just like our supporters are and they’re quite vociferous in their comments, but it’s all fun and games.
“I’m sure I’ll get a little bit as well. They’ve got a reputation for a reason but a lot of it is tongue in cheek. We’ll handle it.”