7 May 2009
Millwall owner John Berylson couldn't have asked for a better season finale than the two-legged showpiece against Leeds United and believes it is a chance for Kenny Jackett's squad to make Millwall proud again.
The Boston-based businessman, who has ploughed millions into the club, believes the club is on the verge of greatness and that it will only be achieved by beating the best.
"If you asked me were I wanted to be at the start of the season, or even three months ago - it is right here," he said. "I wanted to be in the playoffs. I thought that automatic promotion was just out of reach.
"I wouldn't want to play anybody but Leeds. It is the perfect benchmark for the team. If we cannot beat Leeds over two legs to get to Wembley for the prize of promotion - then we are not ready.
"It will show there is more work to do for Kenny and the squad."
Berylson will jet into London in time for Saturday's home leg before travelling to Yorkshire for his first visit to Elland Road. "I just wish I was a player playing in the game of my career," he added. "Pulling that shirt on on live TV with a chance to do something big for this club.
"It would be a great day for this club. A great day for the fans and a great day for this Chairman.
"It would restore the pride in Millwall's players, the pride in the fans and put pride back into south London."
Berylson - who could have invested up to £12 million into the club through a combination of loans and covered losses for the company since he arrived two years ago - believes a trip to Wembley on May 24 would be greater than the club's only ever appearance in the FA Cup final back in 2004.
He said: "Beating Leeds with their big team, their big ground and their big following over two games to get to Wembley will be the greatest achievement for this club in a generation.
"You can talk about getting to the FA cup final in that historic cup run - but promotion for this young team, with this manager would be fantastic and something to really build on."
Berylson believes that the squad built by Jackett over the past nineteen months will not be overwhelmed by the big occasion. "We can beat anyone in the playoff's," he insists. "We have shown that. I know that they could all probably beat us on their day as well.
The winner will be the team that can find that extra inch, find that extra ten per cent on the day and cross that line. That has to be us."
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