Wilkins praise for efforts of Wise

THE smile played around the edges of Ray Wilkins' lips as he admitted the 'young man' who had replaced the injured Aboubaka Fofana had not done a bad job.

THE smile played around the edges of Ray Wilkins' lips as he admitted the 'young man' who had replaced the injured Aboubaka Fofana had not done a bad job.

The Millwall assistant manager was not just sucking up to his boss - player-manager Dennis Wise - he meant it.

Wise's introduction after 18 minutes halted what looked as if it was going to be a Town victory and from being under the cosh the home side clawed their way back into the match.

Wilkins said: “The young man who went on was outstanding. We were being over-run in midfield because we were being stretched. When you are playing against a cagey character like Jim Magilton who has quality, then he is going to upset you.


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“We may have dealt with it with the same personnel but it was unfortunate we picked up another injury.

“A clean sheet is always nice and Ipswich have quality in abundance. They will be up there at the last knockings.

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“It is a shame for us that when they went down to 10 men we did not go on and dominate and nick the game. But we are happy with another clean sheet.”

While Millwall have been Scrooge-like in defence at home - not allowing a single goal against in five games - they have been totally inadequate up front, not helped by losing Neil Harris, Bob Peeters, Paul Ifill, Robbie Ryan and Noel Whelan, to injury.

But Wilkins said: “This is probably the worst injury

crisis I have been involved in either as a player or as a manager. But we can't use injuries as an excuse - everyone has them. You just have to get on with it.

“But if we have players at this club, whether they are reserves or whatever, then they are good enough to play for Millwall.

“We are looking to bring someone in and we are working extremely hard to achieve that as Theo Paphitas will find when he sees my phone bill!”

Wilkins was reluctant to be drawn into the refereeing debate but admitted the Millwall keeper was fortunate to stay on the pitch.

“If Tony Warner has handled outside the area then he should have been sent off. All we ask in football is for consistency.

“Referees do have an extremely difficult task but they do have their own

problems and they have to deal with them in the best way possible.”

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