Millwall face 'must-win' game, according to veteran David Forde

The Den, Millwall

Under Neil Harris, Millwall have halved the deficit between them and the safety of 21st place in the Sky Bet Championship, but the battle is far from won.

When Neil Harris took the Millwall manager's job with 10 games remaining, the team were eight points from safety. Now, a run of just one defeat in six games - including a crucial 2-0 win over relegation rivals Wigan Athletic last Tuesday - has given the Londoners a chance of survival that looked very distant under Ian Holloway.

However, that run has included three draws and only two wins, and it is maximum points that the Lions need now, if they are to secure their Championship place against the odds.

Goalkeeper David Forde, a veteran of seven years at the New Den and a key component in the club's great escape last season, claims Tuesday night's game at Blackburn is a "must-win" encounter, and looking at the remaining fixtures for all sides involved, it is hard to disagree with that.

Forde told the Guardian: “It’s disappointing that we find ourselves in this position but that’s life. I’m very optimistic. We have the experience of the last few years and I think we can do it. We look at this game as must-win.”

A win in Tuesday's game at Ewood Park would put Millwall just one point behind Rotherham United in 21st place. However, they would have just two games remaining to Rotherham's three. Conversely, a defeat at Blackburn could see the relegation battle settled at the weekend, given Millwall's goal difference is eight goals worse off than their South Yorkshire rivals.

Millwall's remaining fixtures are also a cause for concern. While Blackburn have little to play for, Neil Harris's men must prepare to face play-off-hunting Derby County (home) and Wolverhampton Wanderers (away) in their final two games. If maximum points is the requirement then the pressure is heaped on the Bermondsey club, particularly as Rotherham face fixtures against Norwich, Reading and Leeds in the same period, two of which look very winnable.

Forde accepts that Millwall have left themselves a lot to do and Tuesday night's encounter with Blackburn represents a game they cannot afford to lose. A draw would leave them in the hunt, but would give Rotherham a huge boost going in to the weekend's fixtures.

“Since Neil has come in", Forde continued "he’s revived us a bit and has got everyone positive and looking forward to the remaining challenges. He has gone back to basics really, getting the work rate and ethic right, and that’s what the fans expect. He’s instilled that back in and has just lifted the belief. It’s out of our hands but we’ve given ourselves an opportunity.”

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