MILLWALL boss Joe Edwards insists he and the players are not discussing relegation despite his side’s awkward league form.
The Lions kick off at Coventry this lunchtime just four points off the relegation zone after losing three of their last four games in the Championship.
It is not the most perilous position Millwall have found themselves in this season having began Boxing Day just three points above the bottom three.
But a hat-trick of consecutive victories over Queens Park Rangers, Norwich City and Bristol City during the festive period gave the club a boost before another patch of difficult form followed in January.
Edwards believes there is still “plenty of time” to turn the situation around.
He said: “Relegation, at the moment, is definitely not a word we use or a scenario we’ve spoken about. I don’t want to say that casually because I do understand and I do look at the league table.
“It’s obviously not early in the season anymore but there’s still plenty of time. And when you look at the amount of points and how tight it is, you can have one great week and it could look massively different. So I think it’s too early to declare you’re in any kind of battle or tie your hat to any situation that you’re in.
“But we’re in the bottom section of the league in a position we don’t want to be in and we want to be better than. We’re in the final third of the season now where the games do start ticking away quickly. So I’m aware that we want to start putting points on the board and be in a better position than we’re in but we can only do that by addressing it game-by-game and putting as many points on the board as possible.
“But we don’t sit there and talk about a relegation battle as such, no.”
Today’s match pits Edwards against the side who handed him his first defeat as Millwall boss. Following the impressive 4-0 win over Sheffield Wednesday, Coventry were the opponents for Edwards’ first game at The Den and the Sky Blues ran out comfortable 3-0 winners.
Asked about that game, the Lions head coach said: “It’s fine margins in games and it [reminds me] of one of the old cliches about goals changing games. We were clinical against Sheffield Wednesday and won 4-0 which is an incredibly emphatic scoreline, particularly to get away from home. The reality is we were just clinical in and around the goal.
“When we played Coventry after and lost 3-0, it was the complete opposite really. The scoreline can look damning when you lose 3-0 at home. Watching the game back this week to recap what went on last time we faced this opponent, we played a lot of good football that day and had several moments in and around the goal that we didn’t take where we had done against Sheffield Wednesday.
“And the simple fact was we were very front-footed and confident from what we done the week before so we were probably a bit more open than I would like us to be. We probably got slightly carried away with the new idea of being front-footed in their half. We were playing a different system that day than we’ve played for a few weeks now when we were a back four.
“And there were just a few moments where we gave Coventry more space than you can allow against teams of that level and they really punished us, they were clinical. They were striking at goal and the rebound was falling to them.
“The third goal was a set-piece in the 93rd minute or something when the game was pretty much done… they fully deserved the win but at the same time I didn’t go too overboard with what I learnt about the group. It was just a reminder of how brutal football can be and how important it is to be clinical around the goal and take your chances.”