July 2, 2022

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Millwall out of the Championship play-off race? Try telling Danny McNamara that!

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Danny McNamara is refusing to rule Millwall out of the Championship promotion race despite their lengthy unbeaten run at The Den coming to an end in midweek.

Joel Piroe’s goal earned Swansea victory in SE16 and inflicted a first home loss on the Lions since January 15.

Gary Rowett’s side had been unbeaten in seven matches on their own turf and kept six clean sheets.

Now they head into tomorrow’s home fixture against relegation- threatened Barnsley knowing maximum points is a must.

“We have got six massive games coming up and we’re still not that far off the play-offs,” said right wing-back McNamara. “It is still there for the taking – we’ve just got to give our all and we are going to do exactly that.

“It was a tough game on Tuesday. It wasn’t one of our better performances and we know that. Swansea are a top side and they move the ball really well. On the night we just weren’t really at it but we go again on Saturday and I’m sure everyone will be.

“Every single one of us was giving 100 per cent against Swansea and I can almost guarantee you that is the case with us every single week.

“We have to take that result on the chin.

“We can open it [the play-offs] all up again if we win on Saturday.”

McNamara has made 31 appearances for the Lions this season and has played the full 90 minutes in the last 21 league matches, that sequence aided by Ryan Leonard – a potential rival for that spot – being ruled out until recently with a ankle injury.

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If the academy product features against the Tykes it will be his 50th senior outing for Millwall.

“It’s a massive achievement and honour for me to play for my [boyhood] club,” said McNamara.

“Hopefully I can get many more and reach the 100-club soon.

Millwall goalkeeper Bartosz Bialkowski punches the ball clear during the Sky Bet Championship match at Kenilworth Road, Luton. 

“I’ve really enjoyed my run in the team. There is nothing better than playing week in and week out. It’s vital to show what you’re about and what you can achieve.

“I find it harder coming out of the team and then back into it. Once you are playing Saturday-Tuesday and then Saturday-Wednesday, I almost find it a bit easier on the body. You train yourself to get going again. I need to try to keep that up.”

The 23-year-old has been capped twice at U21 level by Republic of Ireland, qualifying through his grandparents. Stephen Kenny, in charge of the senior set-up was in attendance to watch McNamara play against QPR.

“I had a good long chat with him after the game about where I’m at and where Ireland are at,” said McNamara.

“It sounded pretty positive. It’s down to me and my performances. I just need to keep working hard and push for a place in that team.

“Playing at Championship level helps in trying to get established and noticed by Stephen Kenny.”

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