Wise sticks up for youngsters

Last updated : 07 March 2005 By Neil Andrews
"Hello, Samaritans?"
Millwall boss Dennis Wise had nothing but praise for his Lions side that featured just four players over the age of 22 when they lined up to face Leeds United yesterday afternoon, but admitted he didn't expect to have to defend them during the match as well.

Wise confronted several fans in the West Stand during the game after they continued to hurl abuse at the team and at one point actually entered the supporters' enclosure.

"There were a couple of fellas in the stand who always seem to want to give the players stick", explained the manager. "And they normally start the other fans off.

"So I just went up to one of them and said 'look, get behind the lads. I've got a lot of kids out there and it's hard for them. This is the last thing they need'.

"He was fine with that. He shook my hand and that was that. I wasn't afraid to go up to him. What was he going to do? Punch me?"

Wise was also unreserved in his praise for his side who could justifably claim that they should've finished the game with all three points.

"I'm proud of them, they showed a lot of enthusiasm and did extremely well.

"They don't know the game properly yet and need a bit of help but you can expect them to always work hard and they showed what they can do.

"I thought we were hard done by and did enough to win the game but we're still in with a shout."