Millwall boss: I won't take loans to make up numbers

© Keith Gillard
© Keith Gillard

MILLWALL boss Neil Harris isn’t ruling out the possibility of making loan signings to boost the Lions’s promotion chances next season.

But he emphasised that the club’s focus is on securing long-term deals.

His predecessor, Ian Holloway, staked the club’s Championship survival on a number of loan deals last January but the strategy failed to pay off despite the Premier League experience brought by players such as Jos Hooiveld, Gary Taylor-Fletcher and Michael Tonge.

Perhaps mindful of that failed approach, Harris stressed that any potential short-term deals would only be to cover sudden emergencies or used to assess a player’s suitability to joining on a more permanent basis.

“Ideally, at this stage, we’re definitely looking at permanent signings,” he said. “A year-long loan is almost like signing a player on a one-year contract. I’m not against doing that sort of thing, but short-term loans have got to be for the benefit of the club.

“If it’s a short-term fix it’s because we’re trying to improve what we’ve got. We might need to look at a shorter deal because of injuries or suspensions, things like that.

“I’d always look at a short-term deal with a view to something longer, so it’s a good opportunity for us to look at someone we want to sign. It can’t be a loan just to make up the numbers.

“That’s sometimes been the case but we want to come away from that, we want our own players, we want Millwall players.”

John Kelly

(@jkelly1882)

9 thoughts on “Millwall boss: I won't take loans to make up numbers

  • May 21, 2015 at 08:59
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    Two examples of how short-terms loans have worked brilliantly in the past was when we were pushing for promotion to the old Division One (Championship) and we brought Stevie Claridge who covered injuries and suspensions of Harris and Moody during the final run in of games... (Who remembers the four games we won in a row to stay at the top, smashing Rotherham 2nd at the time 4-0 at home, Brilliant!).

    The following season carrying the momentum and pretty much the same squad, we brought in Dion Dublin to help boost our goal scoring record. Ultimately undone by Birmingham in the dying seconds of the play-offs to the Prem (even though we were considered favourites at the time) but the point here is short terms loans worked when they serve a real purpose, just as Harris say's "Not to make up the numbers". Spot on gaffer!

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  • May 21, 2015 at 09:44
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    I understand Harris's point but this could also work against us. We could bring in a loanee who hits the ground running and before we know it the player is off to another club. And we will be hearing all sorts from our fans. "Why didnt we have an agreement in at the start of the loan to sign him permanently?".
    "Ambler needs to go". And yes this is the drivel I hear from some of our supporters.

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    • May 21, 2015 at 10:00
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      @Ash: if the club doing the lending doesn't want to agree to those terms (buying option for us) then we have to just accept that and hope we can get the best from them while they're with us.

      Otherwise all clubs would be doing loans as a test of the player rather than paying up front for a player.

      Given the amount of duds we usually get on loan id settle for having a player for the season who does well even if ultimately they move elsewhere.

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    • May 21, 2015 at 12:23
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      @Ash: i respect your opinion over Ambler.but in turn you must respect others who thinks hes a mug

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  • May 21, 2015 at 10:39
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    I think its a fine balance and probably a tricky task at the best of times for managers in the lower leagues possibly the difference this time round is that Bomber has overseen the development of some of our younger players and given them the chance to step up to the first team , which I have to say co co and even Kenny seemed reluctant to sometimes do . From what I have seen so far I trust Bomber & Dave will get the balance right sooner rather than later .

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    • May 21, 2015 at 12:31
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      @mfc2u: your right it is a tricky one.if we chucked away the idea of loanees completely.we wouldn't had players like townsend kane puncheon and many lke them..its the old players i object to..cos they either injured or just one last payday..carlos not included

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  • May 21, 2015 at 12:37
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    What I like most about not just this post but the other recent ones where bomber has given us an insight into what he's thinking, what his hopes are, what kind of strategy he's after employing and so on, is the fact that he keeps repeating the word MILLWALL. Everything coming out of his mouth is Millwall centric. That should be enough to convince everyone, that at last we have someone at the helm who doesn't say "I know what the expectation is" (except of course that person does not have a clue), and instead someone who 100% knows what this club is all about. If (and I wholeheartedly hope this isn't the case) it doesn't work out for Neil, then I hope and pray that the trolls on here and any other forum lay off him. You couldn't ask for a more dedicated individual! Everyone must rally round and give 100% support to what he puts into action, who he signs, what formation he chooses. The bloke knows the score - it's in his blood. I have a buzz building already and it's not because I think we will go straight up this season, it's because we will for the first time in about 5 seasons begin to see a real 'Wall team playing again and not a collection of journeymen strangers thrown in with no idea of what they're supposed to do. In bomber we trust!

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  • May 21, 2015 at 13:26
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    Chopper knows best.......I agree with everything he says......dont forget we cant buy any players in the winter window but loanees can be useful then

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  • May 21, 2015 at 14:19
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    No one likes short term loans but sometimes they are crucial for injuries or to see if a player fits the club but also for giving younger players valuable experience. They also help clubs cross the finish line get over that hill etc like Harry Kane and Chris wood admittedly no relevance in the long run but was bloody good when they were both here though.

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