Millwall v Sheffield United: Chelsea loanee Blackman ready to run New Den gauntlet

Jamal Blackman is bracing himself for a boisterous welcome when he walks out at Millwall this afternoon.

Sheffield United loan goalkeeper Jamal Blackman (Picture: SportImage)
Sheffield United loan goalkeeper Jamal Blackman (Picture: SportImage)

For the Sheffield United goalkeeper is on loan from Millwall’s fierce rivals Chelsea.

And while the two clubs may be on different footballing planets, there is no love lost between the London neighbours.

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“It’s will be a bit different going back down to London, being a London boy myself,” said Croyden-born Blackman.

“Chelsea and Millwall, there’s a big rivalry there so I might not get the best welcome!

“I’ve got quite a few messages asking for tickets already so I hope Sharpy (captain Billy Sharp) has got enough. It feels like there’s a bus coming up from Croydon.”

The Blades, third in the Championship, will be hoping to improve on their recent record against London teams.

Their last capital trip ended in a 1-0 defeat at QPR, while last month United were pipped 5-4 by Fulham in a breathtaking match at Bramall Lane.

Jamal Blackman of Sheffield Utd during the Championship match at the Macron Stadium, Bolton. (Picture: Simon Bellis/Sportimage)

“Millwall are a good side,” said Blackman. “It should be a good game for us because we’ve got some unfinished business down there after the QPR game.

“It’s like anywhere, if you are the away team you have to deal with the pressure, the fans and overcome the atmosphere.”

United followed up defeat to Fulham by only drawing with struggling Birmingham City, but Blackman insists the Blades will not tone down their attacking style.

“We thought we could come back against Fulham and we thought we could beat Birmingham after falling behind,” he said. “We always believe in ourselves.

Jamal Blackman of Sheffield Utd during the Championship match at the Macron Stadium, Bolton. (Picture: Simon Bellis/Sportimage)

“The Fulham came was weird, nobody wants to concede four or five goals. There was so much going on, everyone was going forward. But the big thing was we stuck together as a team.

“Nothing will change for us. We won’t change the way we play and we’re all together.

“We’re a strong unit and the manager drills it into us every single day, how we need to be and how we need to go about things.”

Blackman has been keeping last season’s No 1 Simon Moore on the sidelines, such has been the Chelsea goalkeeper’s impressive form.

He said: “We get along well and we both try to show we should be in the team.

“I’m still learning and I’m learning from Simon. He’s played at this level for a long time.

“It’s really good for my confidence and whoever comes in knows they have the full support of the team.

“The main thing as a goalkeeper is just keeping the ball out of the net and getting used to the speed of the game,” said Blackman, who spent last season on loan at League Two side Wycombe Wanderers.

“Playing games helps you progress and learn your trade. It’s different here to Wycombe.

“Every division has its own type of speed and physicality.

“You learn how to use your own body.

“The ball is a lot quicker here, in the Championship, it’s fast football. Taking hits is good to learn.”