Millwall’s Benik Afobe: ‘Fans will be our 12th man – but we can play, too’

Benik Afobe says that his time at The Den so far has been “enjoyable” and spoke of the importance of having the Millwall fans in the stadium for the 2021-22 campaign.
Afobe netted twice in the Lions 3-0 pre-season win against Ipswich Town at Portman Road on Saturday.
Speaking to Millwall’s club website, Afobe said: “We’ve had a lot of games in pre-season but the last one always feels like the real one.
“Playing at a stadium, a great stadium on a nice pitch, against a good team, to get three goals and a clean sheet is a perfect way to start the season.
“[On his first goal] When George Saville gets the ball like that, the gaffer has spoken of me and Jed counter attacking and going down the sides.
“From then on Jed, who’s a great ball carrier, gets his shot off, and I know when Jed is shooting from there, there’s always a chance that it’s going to be on target. So I’ve followed it in and thankfully for me it’s bounced right in front of me and I’ve tapped it in.
“Over the last few years, everybody thinks of Millwall as being an aggressive hard-working team, but what people don’t realise is that we can play and this season it’s about sometimes counter attacking and sitting back and trying to break. We’ve also got the quality to play 20, 30 passes and then scoring.
“[For the second goal] It was great play – me and Jed stayed away from it, the boys were playing and not rushing things. It was great play from [George] Saville, [Jake] Cooper and Scott [Malone] on the left there. When Coops went down the left, he’s picked me out and I’ve just swung at it and it went into the top corner, so I’m happy.
“I’ve played for a fair few teams now and I think it’s right up there in terms of the lads. I could honestly go for dinner with any of the lads. I know the gaffer and the staff from before as well.
“It’s been really enjoyable. I came here to enjoy my football again but also to have a go, and to bring my experience at this level, and I’m enjoying it. I think they enjoy having me here and I enjoy playing with them. Long may that continue and hopefully we can have a good season.
“I feel fresh, I feel good. This team is one of the fittest teams in the league and we’ve had a good pre-season. We’re all ready and we are going to give it another push this week, and hopefully we’ll be ready for QPR away on Saturday.
“You can’t beat it [having fans]. Obviously I was away in Turkey last season, so I didn’t play in the Championship but I know it’s tough without fans. Especially our fans – I know from my time here before and watching Millwall, that Millwall‘s fans are definitely our 12th man and woman.
“It’s going to be great having them for the QPR game and also the Blackburn game at home. I can’t wait for it.”

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