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


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

  • May 21, 2015 at 08:59

    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

    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

      @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

      @Ash: i respect your opinion over Ambler.but in turn you must respect others who thinks hes a mug

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