Millwall boss: Plans for next year in "good shape" already

© Millwall FC
© Millwall FC

NEIL Harris has been planning for next season for weeks and says he is ready to make decisive decisions on Millwall's out-of-contract players.

Despite only being confirmed as the Lions' permanent boss on Wednesday, Harris admits preparations for the 2015-16 campaign are well underway – and have been for some time.

First-teamers Alan Dunne, Nicky Bailey, Martyn Woolford, Magaye Gueye, Jimmy Abdou, Stefan Maierhofer and Ricardo Fuller are all due to become free agents in the summer.

Danny Shittu, Justin Hoyte and Angel Martinez, who have not featured at all under Harris, are also entering the final weeks of their deals.

And the Lions have three players out on loan – John Marquis (Gillingham), Mattew Briggs (Colchester) and Richard Chaplow (Ipswich) – who are waiting to learn of Harris' intentions.

The futures of Tom King and Jake Goodman will also be determined in the coming days, while a decision must be reached on the fate of injured right back Carlos Edwards.

Of those 16 players, only Abdou, the club's Player of the Year, appears guaranteed of an extension so far.

Loan signings Jos Hooiveld, Gary Taylor-Fletcher, Dan Harding, Jodan Archer and Michael Tonge are also due to return to their parent clubs in the summer.

Harris, therefore, has a lot to think about – but he's "not undecided" about who he wants to keep ahead of Millwall's return to League One.

He said: "There are lots of decisions to be made contract-wise in terms of players who are in and out of contract.

"They'll be big and tough decisions, and they won't be taken with any rushed thoughts.

"Once we do that, the players will know and we can start planning for what we need next year to mount a serious challenge to get back into the Championship as quickly as possible.

"What's refreshing is that we've got a lot of players who are out-of-contract and while there are some tough decisions, some others are pretty obvious.

"It's no secret, and I've been very open about it, that the club needs to change the personnel and add some good young players. We've not had the right mix this year.

"To be successful at Millwall you need young players with energy and pace, and also some experienced players with the right mentality.

"That mentality has to involve being able to play at The Den and helping the younger players to come through and give them the support and encouragement they need.

"That's where we've fallen down massively in the last couple of seasons."

Harris' permanent appointment was only announced publicly this week but the Lions legend has known for a while that he'd be getting the job full-time.

And that has enabled him to start thinking ahead to next year.

"You always have your personal thoughts on things, and behind the scenes we've been planning for both scenarios – the Championship and League One," he said.

"We're in good shape, and it's not as if we will now start planning after the event.

"We now know the division we're going to be in, so as of Wednesday we were looking at League One."

Alex Aldridge


30 thoughts on “Millwall boss: Plans for next year in "good shape" already

  • May 1, 2015 at 12:44

    Out of all those, I would offer Bailey, Jimmy and Maggy extensions, and maybe try and get Jos Hoover in permanently, the rest can go and do one. Would love to see the back of that Millwall legend!!!!! Dunne, but I can see him getting something unfortunately.

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    • May 1, 2015 at 13:04

      @beedoscores: I have to take issue with you on Bailey,if he is fit he would make a good investment for L1,but he is alway's injured.
      How many games has he played since we signed him.?
      Many people don't like Hof,but we seem to get some sort of result in many of the games he started,and he could do a good job in L1.
      I am with you about jimmy and maggie,both would be good in L1

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      • May 1, 2015 at 15:10

        @jim1222: With Bailey I hope it was just a bad season for injuries and he comes back fit next season. Don't like Hof as a player, you can't get a fag paper under his feet when he jumps, but we do need extra cover for Greg and O'B so might be an option.

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        • May 1, 2015 at 18:33

          @beedoscores: how come no mention of Webster has he gone I thought he was on loan

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  • May 1, 2015 at 12:48

    This really makes a change and a welcome one.the last two were slow of the mark so all the good players went early.neil knows its vital to get sorted early.mainly due to januarys transfer embargo

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