Wilkins praises proud Lions

By Derek DavisChief Football WriterRAY Wilkins praised his proud Lions after they recovered from 'a spanking' to topple table-topping Ipswich Town.

By Derek Davis

Chief Football Writer

RAY Wilkins praised his proud Lions after they recovered from 'a spanking' to topple table-topping Ipswich Town.

Millwall were on the ropes under the Blues' onslaught before catching them with a classic sucker punch through substitute Barry Hayles just before the half-time whistle.

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The Lions' assistant-manager Wilkins hailed his team's spirit after they lost playmaker Paul Ifill after just 12 minutes and then their rock at the back, Darren Ward, before half-time, both to injury.

Wilkins said: "We have an exceptional group of blokes here.

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"They did take a bit of a spanking in the first half but it is difficult to blunt their attitude and enthusiasm.

"They knew even though they were ahead that they had not really done themselves justice and needed to pick their game up, which is exactly what they did."

While the win was a slight blip for Ipswich's automatic promotion hopes, it gave play-off chasing Millwall plenty of hope.

Wilkins added: "There are a lot of bigger boys up there but we have a squad that is capable of beating anyone, especially here at the Den.

"It's a fantastic victory for us.

"It was a very important result for us because it pulls us closer to them in the table and we proved that we can compete with the top sides.

"We have beaten West Ham, Sunderland and now Ipswich, so it bodes well when we play at home."

Player-manager Dennis Wise, who went on for 25 minutes, admitted his team were not at the races in the first half.

He said: "A lot of things went wrong technically for us in the first half. The players seemed nervous, although I don't know why because we have been playing very well lately."

Wilkins has no doubts why Town are top of the league.

He said: "Ipswich are probably the best footballing side in the division and we always have good games against them.

"Them being top was not extra motivation for us because we knew how good they are anyway."

Wilkins confirmed that Paul Ifill will have x-ray scans on his injured leg today while Darren Ward aggravated an old ankle injury. Both will miss tomorrow's game with George Burley's Derby County.

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