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

(@accordingtoaldo)

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

  • May 1, 2015 at 12:44
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    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
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      @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
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        @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 12:48
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    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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  • May 1, 2015 at 12:54
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    Did we sign Hoff??? Well he needs to go.

    Martinez lol show him the door and kick Hoyte out the money grabbing c***! uller, Bailey, Woolford, Dunne, Hoff, shown the door, Abdou made captain and Magaye offered a new deal, Magaye could leave if offered better elsewhere though

    Bring Marquis back for one last chance or sell him to Gillingham, despite needing a left back Briggs isn't it, and Chaplow can leave

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  • May 1, 2015 at 12:57
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    Get rid of King he's not featured so I don't think he's the keeper we need. I'd go for young but with some experience.

    Bring Goodman back and play him he's done well at Wimbledon. I'd love Edwards to be fit if so offer him a one year deal if not fit sadly he'll have to go

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    • May 1, 2015 at 16:01
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      @North London Lion: wouldn't cast Edwards aside.. Worst way he could still make a difference behind the scenes with the youngsters if his not fit all but in a coaching roll. Model professional

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  • May 1, 2015 at 12:58
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    Time for Dunne and Shittu to call it a day, possibly get Dunne involved in coaching in some capacity.

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  • May 1, 2015 at 13:06
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    I would keep Jimmy , Maggie even a semi fit Bailey on a game by game appearance fee only as others have said he owes us big time I would get rid of all the rest including Forde .

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  • May 1, 2015 at 13:21
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    tough decision with some of them Bailey is good if fit ,Woolford has done well but Neil is the boss and he alone will decide which is good enough for me .....he talks a lot about pace which rules a lot out but we don't need 40 on the books .....quality not quantity and always 4-4-2

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  • May 1, 2015 at 13:41
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    I meant he could look after the coaches carrying our fans on away days lol

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  • May 1, 2015 at 13:43
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    Alot of people said earlier in the season that half the players are league 1..now will need some L1 players so make your bleeding minds up.

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  • May 1, 2015 at 13:45
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    That list shows how truly awful Holloway was - Martinez, Taylor-Fletcher, Harding, Tonge, Briggs and Maierhofer just say it all.

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  • May 1, 2015 at 14:13
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    you cant really blame any player ...age has caught up with some and quality aint there with others ....Holloway and Lomas shouldn't have signed em .....Neil is a supporter of the club like us he knows what we need.........the ones let go will be lucky to find 1st team football above Div 1

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  • May 1, 2015 at 14:26
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    If Carlos is back to anywhere near fitness then. I would keep him for another year. His professionalism will rub off onto the youngsters

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  • May 1, 2015 at 14:57
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    Jimmy should be club captain, and I would definately offer Woolford an extension. He aint the most gifted player but works hard and has been proffessional and enthusiastic. Bailey could be offered a pay per play contract and I would bring Chaplow and Marquis back from their loans. Jack and Fred should return too. We are in div 1. We aint gonna get much interest from Messi and Ronaldo.

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  • May 1, 2015 at 16:15
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    As far as I'm concerned the following players can go:
    Alan Dunne
    Nicky Bailey
    Martyn Woolford
    Stefan Maierhofer
    Ricardo Fuller
    Danny Shittu,
    Justin Hoyte
    Angel Martinez,
    Mattew Briggs
    Richard Chaplow
    Gary Taylor-Fletcher,
    Dan Harding,
    Michael Tonge

    The following are worth giving a contract to for another season:
    Magaye Gueye,
    Jimmy Abdou,
    John Marquis
    Jake Goodman
    Jos Hooiveld,

    I'm sure Carlos Edwards has got the heart but I doubt very much he's got the legs. We all saw what happened to Robbo after he came back from a season long injury.

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    • May 1, 2015 at 16:28
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      @Syd the Lion: totally agree but I'd keep Bailey. He's a good defensive midfielder but yes he does get injured alot

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      • May 1, 2015 at 16:37
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        @COYL-1885: As a club moving forward, we cannot afford to carry ANYBODY. Bailey is coming to the end of his career. Once again, I think he's got the heart, but not the body for league 1 football. I say give Powell a go this season in midfield.

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      • May 1, 2015 at 19:41
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        @bobthelion: not sure Bob. I'd give him another chance personally. I think he was another players who's confidence was destroyed by Holloway.

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        • May 1, 2015 at 22:40
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          @Syd the Lion: thanks Sid I thought we loaned him back to yovil til end of season I would give him another go as well

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  • May 2, 2015 at 11:27
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    Some of these won't be popular but in my opinion:
    Alan Dunne (50/50 on this one as i think he is an experienced player at l1 level and knows the club inside out but also think we need a fresh start).
    Nicky Bailey (Would 100% give him a 1 year deal with an option to extend by another year. If injury free he's a leader and a fighter)
    Martyn Woolford (Another very good player in league 1, maybe again a 1 yr deal with the option of a 2nd year as it gives him a reason to give his all).
    Magaye Gueye (Done enough when given his chance to deserve a new deal. Question mark for me is does he care enough to put a shift in every week. 1 year deal with club having an option to extend).
    Jimmy Abdou (100% new deal. You know what you get with Jimmy. Would walk into all l1 teams and his attitude is what i expect from all our players).
    Stefan Maierhofer (Get rid! 6ft 7 and can't jump, won't get stuck in. Exactly what i do not accept from a Millwall player).
    Ricardo Fuller (A player who, in my opinion, got far more stick than deserve but due to the fact he is a bit of a scapegoat plus his lack of games since Harris took over i suspect he will be released).
    Danny Shittu (Always gave his all but no longer has anything to offer, release).
    Justin Hoyte (Won't be popular but think he was another who became a Lomarse scapegoat. Think if he was given a fair run of games he MIGHT have been a good player but will be released).
    Angel Martinez (Decent player but doesn't suit our style, release)
    John Marquis (Done well at Gills but personally have never thought he looked good enough to be a regular for us so i would let him move on).
    Mattew Briggs (not a good defender, ok going forward, release.
    Richard Chaplow (again, prob not popular but he is a player that i would keep if he wanted to come back. Decent player who, if inj free, has a lot to offer. 1 year with option of a 2nd).
    Tom King (not seen anything of him so whatever NH decides)
    Jake Goodman (Done enough on loan to be worth a new deal, gives us a chance to see if he can step up to l1 football and poss championship as well).
    Carlos Edwards (let him train with us pre-season and make a decision then. Deserves the opportunity to prove his fitness).
    Jos Hooiveld (If we could sign him i would but wage and l1 probably rule him out).
    Gary Taylor-Fletcher (glad to see the back of him).
    Dan Harding (would be happy to see him sign but not overly gutted if he didn't. Seeing as we probably need 2 left backs, he would be one i would consider).
    Jodan Archer (NH spoke about him on Lions Live a few weeks ago and seems to rate him so i think we will try to get him once spurs release him in the summer).
    Michael Tonge (too old)
    Byron Webster (Not out of contract but give him a free if anyone would take him).

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