Ed Upson believes Millwall and their band of ex-Ipswich Town players can be a force in the Championship next season

Ed Upson in action for Millwall

Ed Upson in action for Millwall - Credit: Archant

Ed Upson believes Millwall and their band of ex-Ipswich Town players can be a force in the Championship next season.

The Bury St Edmunds-born midfielder – who was released by the Blues without making a first team appearance – helped Yeovil get promoted to the Championship in 2012/13 then made a January switch to the Lions midway through his debut campaign at second tier level.

Ian Holloway’s side dramatically avoided relegation on the final day of the campaign following an eight-game unbeaten run. A total of seven ex-Ipswich players – Upson, Lee Martin, Owen Garvan, Liam Trotter, Carlos Edwards, Stephen Bywater and DJ Campbell – represented them throughout the season.

“There’s quite a few of us (ex Ipswich players) isn’t there? They’re all seeming to end up here!” laughed Upson, who scored the winning goal when Ipswich won the 2005 FA Youth Cup and is now aged 24.

“I knew Carlos (Edwards), Lee Martin and Garvs (Owen Garvan), as well as Trotts (Liam Trotter) – though he left when I arrived (going on loan to and subsequently signing for Bolton). Football is a small world and it was nice to see some familiar faces when I arrived.

“Carlos is a great lad. I didn’t know him that well at Ipswich because I was coming through the youth team and he was a senior player, but he’s a great character and was brilliant when he came in. He played a big part in our good end of season form and it’s great that he’s signed permanently.”

When he made his January switch, Yeovil boss Gary Johnson said that Upson ‘hadn’t come up to the standard he had hoped for in the Championship’. With the Glovers having gone on to finish bottom, Upson said: “A manager always has to give some sort of reason for a player leaving so I hold no grudges about that. I’m just pleased to still be a Championship player because I’ve always wanted to be at this level.

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“I was in League One for years but had belief I could make the step up. They’re calling it ‘The Great Escape’ for Millwall last season, we’ve been in that position for the last few years and we don’t want that to be the case again.

“We finished the season really well, the manager has his philosophies about how he wants us to play and that clicked at just the right time. If we can carry that form into next season then I think we could be a force.”

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