Millwall came from behind to progress to the second round of the League Cup, defeating Portsmouth 2-1 in their first home game of 2021/22.
Maikel Kieftenbeld did not have the chance to experience the home crowd last season and was delighted to see the fans pushing the team forward on Tuesday evening.
He told the club’s website this afternoon: “It’s a perfect evening for me, I really enjoyed it. It didn’t start particularly well going 1-0 down, but I enjoyed it and I hope the fans did as well.
“We really felt the atmosphere on the pitch, it was amazing. It’s brilliant with the fans there and it gives us that little bit extra.”
With the Lions expecting a strong season in the second tier, building off of last season’s 11th placed finish it could be the perfect opportunity for a cup run, bringing in some vital funds to soften the blow all Championship clubs have felt throughout the pandemic.
Millwall did not make easy work of Pompey despite scoring twice in six minutes to go 2-1 up in the 27th minute, and furthermore playing against ten men for the vast majority of the second half.
Kieftenbeld continued: “It was a really good finish from George (Saville, who bagged the second). After the red card we could’ve made it a bit easier for ourselves in scoring a third goal, but it’s a good result – I can’t wait for Saturday.”
Gary Rowett’s men welcome Blackburn Rovers on Saturday looking to kick on after their opening day 1-1 draw with Queens Park Rangers.
Millwall were in the play-off conversation at brief moments last term and will never know how close to the wire they might have been able to take it with the supporters inside The Den, creating that cauldron like feel and enhancing their home advantage.
With the exciting addition of Benik Afobe in offense and the ever creative Jed Wallace still the key man going forward, there is no reason why they cannot push for a top six finish. Especially with how well drilled they are at the back, also boasting one of the best goalkeepers in the division with Bart Bialkowski between the sticks.