Millwall loanee James Brown has notched 28 first team appearances for the Blues since joining on-loan in August, and he spoke this week about how important it’s been to add more strings to his bow through what has been an enjoyable experience.
“It’s been good to play and to get more games under my belt,” he said. “The manager has been going with five at the back and the wing back system, and I don’t mind admitting that it’s tough on your legs. It’s definitely different to playing full back
“You have to be better on the ball yourself, as an individual, because you don’t always have the support beside you. It’s good because it’s challenging me in an area I’m not used to. It’s something to adapt to and something I’m slowly getting used to.”
A big part of the role is being on hand to deliver the ball into the danger areas, and two assists from the Wycombe game at the weekend suggests that part of the game is also starting to come together.
“I haven’t picked up too many assists this year, even though I’ve put a couple of good crosses in,” he commented. “Anything I can do to help the team works for me because I’ll be judged on that going forward. It’s nice to add a couple to the tally.
“Obviously the players who get the goals will take all the credit, but as a full back and a wide player you’re always judged on assists. The header from Cole Stockton was excellent and that’s a good example. I was lucky enough to stick it in the right area for him.
“Knowing you’ve contributed to a goal is nice ... and I’d tell you how it feels to score, but I haven’t quite managed to do that yet.”
The down side of the game at Adams Park was the manner of the defeat, and he admitted that he’d found it hard to accept.
“The mood I was in after the game was terrible,” he said. “I just couldn’t put it into words to explain what had happened. I think there was something like four minutes of the game left to go and they went on to score twice.
“It was very disappointing and unprofessional from our point of view. It’s football, things like that happen, and if it’s the other way around and we get two in the last three minutes you end up talking about a great performance.
“It’s very hard to take but you can’t get too low. You’ve got to take it on board and prepare for Colchester. There were glimpses of what we’re about last weekend and that’s what we need to concentrate on.
“The new signings are still settling in, but I thought we looked more of a threat, particularly in the second half. We had more than enough chances to win the game against a side who are second in the league, so we’ll go into the Colchester game in a positive frame of mind.”
One of the new signings he mentioned is fellow Millwall development player Kris Twardek, who already has two starts to add to a man-of-the-match award to his name.
“I was asked about Kris by the manager when they were thinking about bringing him up here,” he revealed. “I knew he’d been chilling on the bench with the first team this year and he’s a good lad.
“I used to live with him and we get on really well. I’d had a couple of conversations with him earlier in the season where I told him he needed to get out on loan, and I said that if I got the chance to put in a good word for him at Carlisle, that’s exactly what I would do.
“It’s good to get him up here and he probably owes me a drink or two. Hopefully he’ll continue to play well for us. I think coming into this season we both knew that our contracts were up in the summer, so if you just sit in the background all season the likelihood is that you won’t be at the club any more.
“That’s how it is at any club and that’s why you need to go and play games. Once you get to an environment like this it starts to become more about helping the team because you want everyone to do well.
“The first part of it, getting on loan so you can establish yourself, is selfish. It then very quickly becomes about trying to climb the table for the sake of the club. I know it’s going to be difficult to make the play-offs, but we have more than enough ability in the dressing room to do it.
“We know it’s difficult, of course it is, but we have to hold our hands up and say we haven’t been good enough at times this season. For the quality we have in the dressing room we know we could be five to ten points better off.
“You can’t dwell on that, because if we keep thinking about it we’ll never get there. What we need to do now is get a bit of a run going, and it needs to start on Saturday. If it goes well, game-by-game, we’ll start to build a bit of momentum and we’ll be on the kind of run we need.”
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