Spurs v Millwall - media view with Paul Jiggins of The Sun
10 March 2017|Tottenham Hotspur
Paul Jiggins is perfectly placed to run the rule over Sunday's FA Cup quarter-final - he's a Millwall fan covering football at the top level week in, week out for The Sun - and a regular in the press box at White Hart Lane...
Football writer, The Sun
Millwall are 17 unbeaten going back to mid-December, what has driven that form?
Paul: "Steve Morison's return after six weeks out with a knee injury was a major catalyst for a run. He is a huge talisman for the club on and off the pitch. While at the other end we have stopped conceding stupid goals at crucial moments in matches. In fact, we went more than 14-and-a-half hours without conceding at all until our 2-1 victory over Milton Keynes Dons last week. A run like that obviously breeds confidence and we’ve developed a pleasing habit of not losing matches which we hope to continue on Sunday."
Below: Steve Morison celebrates his winner against Leicester
Part of that run includes the Premier League scalps of Bournemouth, Watford and Leicester in the FA Cup. How have they gone about taking on Premier League opposition?
Paul: "In exactly the same way they have been taking on League One opposition. Manager Neil Harris and the players have been quite open in admitting they do no more preparation for these glamour games in the FA Cup than they do for the bread and butter
encounters in the League. The three top-flight teams Millwall have beaten so far were all unable to cope with our er, shall we say, direct and robust tactics. It will be interesting to see how one of the best footballing sides in the country deals with them."
Below: Jordan Archer makes a key save against Leicester
Which players should Spurs look out for?
Paul: "None! They are all rubbish and Mauricio might as well rest his entire first-team squad and play the kids! On a serious note,
Millwall are always a better side with Morison and Lee Gregory up front. While Shaun Williams provides some subtlety in midfield, where 'one of our own' Ben Thompson is a tigerish talent very much in the Millwall mould. Jake Cooper has been outstanding in defence since joining on loan from Reading, while Lions fans are grateful keeper Jordan Archer did not get a chance at Spurs, although he has been struggling with a groin problem and has missed the last four games, so Tom King is on standby to continue in goal here."
Below: Millwall boss Neil Harris
How do you think Neil Harris will approach playing at White Hart Lane?
Paul: "He told us at his press conference on Wednesday that he wants his players to put in a 'Millwall performance'. I think the Lions will try to get into Tottenham’s faces and try to ruffle their feathers, along with any other mixed metaphor you can think of. He admits it will be a 'backs to the wall' job and I don’t think he is under any illusions about the difficulty of the task ahead."
Below: Harry Kane celebrates his hat-trick in our fifth round win at Fulham
You’ve watched plenty of Spurs this season - where do you see us at the moment?
Paul: "They are continuing to make giant strides on and off the pitch. The Champions League was a huge disappointment and the Europa League was a missed opportunity in my book. The option to switch to three at the back has given Tottenham the Plan B they needed and Danny Rose is surely the Premier League’s most improved player, with Victor Wanyama undoubtedly one of the bargains of the season. Here’s to an off day on Sunday!"
Last one, how do you see it panning out on Sunday?
Paul: "Extra time and penalties with Jordan Archer saving Harry Kane’s decisive spot kick to send Millwall through. Well, we can all dream, can’t we?"