Millwall boss Harris wants quality over quantity next season

© Millwall FC
© Millwall FC

MILLWALL will have a "young and hungry" group of players  ready for next season’s Sky Bet League One campaign.

Manager Neil Harris also wants a trimmer squad with at least two players competing for each first-team position.

The Lions used 40 players last season but Harris is determined to prize quality over quantity next term.

He wants to add five or six players to the squad after releasing 18 shortly after the conclusion of the Championship campaign, with a striker and left-back top of the list of priorities.

The club will also add a keeper to the ranks.

“Neil wants to operate with a smaller squad than last year,” chief executive Andy Ambler said. “The core number he’s looking at is 22 or 23 players.

“I think if you look at all the most successful clubs across different leagues they use the least number of players.

“Neil wants a balance between experience and youth. ‘Young and hungry’ is a catchphrase we seem to be using going forward.

“We saw with the way the squad shaped up towards the end of last season in a difficult division an indication of the way we’re going.

“It was really pleasing to see, for instance, Jamie Philpot, even though he got injured, come on and score with his first touch in professional football.

“I think we need a younger pool and Neil is committed to building a younger squad which means as a club we’ve got to be patient.

“I’d rather when we go back to the Championship we go back with a young, hungry group.

“There’s work to be done. There are probably four or five needed to get up to that number (that Harris wants).”

 

John Kelly

(@jkelly1882)

48 thoughts on “Millwall boss Harris wants quality over quantity next season

  • May 28, 2015 at 11:39
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    look at southampton last season. 7 of their first 11 played in the first 17 games or something! they gelled they got a consistent squad and played no more players than they really had to and seeing as they lost all their best players to liverpool and a couple of others before the campaign even started everyone wrote em off to go down! just goes to show what you can do with smart buys and a bit of knowledge. lomas and even more so ollie ruined this club with the complete opposite. harris is making all the right moves so far our squad was 44 large last year including loans. that's f****** ridiculous!!! we need to keep it under 28 and we'll be fine.

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    • May 28, 2015 at 12:20
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      @steveomfc5: I agree, but don't forget the reason why we had to rely on the older 30+ players.... "King" Kenny Jackett, it was his decision to get rid of the professional/elite academy all them years ago and we haven't been the same since!!

      Yes we had the success under Jackett which was fantastic, but behind the success we all failed to see the sh** he was going to leave our club in without having a proper youth academy.... As a club we have always brought through fantastic youth players and that is what our club is built on!

      It's also taken the board a long time to realise this and Holloway (the pr*ck) was the one who got the board to bring back a proper youth team structure and an elite academy, it was the only thing he got right... but boy what a thing to get right with our youth coming through now!!

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      • May 28, 2015 at 14:19
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        @Bradders: I totally agree, i think kj was trying to collect some short term funds whilst letting the long term future suffer a bit! but he did do his best on a shoestring budget tbh. ollie may have done that but literally got EVERYTHING! else wrong around him. all i know is neil harris is the long term future for this club no doubt in my mind at all. i just can't believe the nouse he's shown so far it's remarkable from someone who's inexperienced. there's a lot older managers out there that could learn a thing or two already of neil, not mentioning any names lol

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        • May 28, 2015 at 15:12
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          @steveomfc5: Exactly, Ollie got the 1st team absolutely wrong, no doubt about that but has protected our future with the academy which he deserves a bit of credit for... which is hard to say as I can't stand the bloke!

          Harris is very good with the media, of course he will be, he's Millwall and knows exactly what we want and what we want to hear... not like the rest of the pathetic managers who thought they knew Millwall..... BUT.... Harris has asked to be judged as a Manager and not as a legend at the club, so far his win ratio is 20%, 2 wins in 10 games and only 10 points won in 10 games. Let's not get too carried away, I want him to succeed more than anybody in the world but let the stats do the talking.

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          • May 29, 2015 at 12:22
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            @Bradders: a little while back I checked the stats for NH 10 games in charge against the previous 10 games and if my memory serves me right we got 2 more points for the 10 games with NH in charge and I agree with you that on the face of it that's not that impressive but if you take into consideration the circumstances under which NH took over, and then look at the way the team played during NH 10 games in charge ( the improved attitude and effort the players showed and some of the quality teams we we came up against) I think the overall picture ends up looking a lot more positive than if you only take into account the points gained, and without checking the stats again I think goals against was greatly reduced. I believe the performances were a lot better under NH. and good performances coupled fair refs should bring in the points. I.K.I.A.I.S.I.A. I'm Millwall til I die. Roll next season, reasons to be cheerful me thinks. :)

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        • May 28, 2015 at 18:56
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          @lion.ie:
          http://www.wsc.co.uk/the-archive/30-Clubs/4713-academic-excellence

          http://www.newsatden.co.uk/2393-millwall-to-overhaul-youth-system-ahead-of-new-season.html

          http://www.newsatden.co.uk/6259-fitzgerald-new-millwall-academy-has-top-drawer-facilities.html

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          • May 29, 2015 at 08:03
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            @lion.ie: In all fairness Lion, there's a lot of our supporters out there who blamed KJ for the lack of yoof coming through the ranks. I agree with Bradders to a degree because I can't remember too many of the academy playing for us while he was the Manager.

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        • May 28, 2015 at 19:52
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          @lion.ie
          Yet again Lion.ie with the correct knowledge Superb mate.
          People add bits and pieces put it together and people read and believe told nonsense.
          "research your thoughts before you post"

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      • May 29, 2015 at 12:18
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        @Bradders: I am grateful to KJ for the loyalty he showed our club and will always applaud the guy when he returns, but it is true that his legacy was an aging squad of decent League 1 players and a non-existent youth system. It's the one black spot on his otherwise faultless reign at the Den. The club went with his decision to close the academy down and opt for experience over youth, John Marquis was one of the victims of that regime.

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  • May 28, 2015 at 11:39
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    That's the way to go Bomber.
    Been saying for ages that the squad was too big and there was too many wage thieves.
    Well said.

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  • May 28, 2015 at 11:53
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    Ive never been so excited about league 1 football....a team of young hungry players brought through on millwall values and ethics being guided by a millwall legend who is in complete tune with the fans and the way forward....its a beautiful thing.

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  • May 28, 2015 at 12:08
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    Personally i would pair Gregory with Marquis as i reckon theyd clean up an have Obrien in the hole....Harris wants 4 strikers an for me the fourth striker needs to be pacy so id jog that Hanson fella on as I reckon Bradford are deluded to his worth....pay the money for Reuben Reid....if bomber insists on a big man up top even though i think greggors an Marquis can fulfill that role then i bet Chris Wood would be cheaper now than Hanson an might just be tempted in coming back as Leicester blatantly dont want him an he did nothing at Ipswich....worth a punt?

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    • May 28, 2015 at 12:24
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      @Hurlocksgonnagetya: Haha most optimistic post I've seen for a while.
      Chris Wood is the guy who doesn't like our fans for the abuse we gave him for leaving, not to mention he is on £25K a week at Leicester in the premiership and the fee would be more than we would be willing to pay.

      Nice thought but never going to happen in a month of Sundays!

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  • May 28, 2015 at 12:26
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    “I think we need a younger pool and Neil is committed to building a younger squad which means as a club we’ve got to be patient."

    Didn't say f*** all like that when he let Holloway sign all the cast offs.

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  • May 28, 2015 at 12:42
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    Making so many right noises, buzzing about my teams chances next season just after being relegated??
    I just really hope Bomber can carry on the good work tactically as managing the team on field will be a totally different fishy kettle!

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  • May 28, 2015 at 12:47
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    So basically, Ambler is building the squad.

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  • May 28, 2015 at 12:49
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    Common sense prevails at last. Thank goodness we now have a manager who sees the value of youth & hunger over tired old journeymen who just want to eke out their last remnaining seasons at our club's expense. For the 1st time in about 4 years, I'm really looking forward to the start of the season.
    COYL

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    • May 28, 2015 at 20:30
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      @Bolland: I agree been a long time since I been this positive! At last someone who really knows what we are about COYL

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  • May 28, 2015 at 12:55
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    Change the record NAD - it is the same thread coming up over and over again. How about a thread about FIFA I am sure we would like to see your views on this. Just a change from the same please.
    All these new forwards bounded about not seen one mentioned worth the time of day we cannot compete with all the silly wages wanted so go Conference and pick up another Gregory you know it makes sense remember Steve Morrison came from the lower league. Bradders yep good point let's get OLLIE back that's another fine mess you got me into.............
    PS can we have another thread about the youngsters and how they are going to set div 1 alight?
    Not been one for a couple of hours!!!!!!

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    • May 28, 2015 at 13:13
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      @Mekongriver: Make sure you are taking your blood pressure pills!!

      I 100% don't want Ollie back, but can appreciate the 2 good things he done for the club - Implementing an elite academy making the youngsters play football from a young age and out from the back and persuading Scott Fitzgerald to stay when he was about to join Fulham.

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      • May 28, 2015 at 19:03
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        @Bradders: http://www.wsc.co.uk/the-archive/30-Clubs/4713-academic-excellence

        http://www.newsatden.co.uk/2393-millwall-to-overhaul-youth-system-ahead-of-new-season.html

        http://www.newsatden.co.uk/6259-fitzgerald-new-millwall-academy-has-top-drawer-facilities.html

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  • May 28, 2015 at 13:10
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    Bomber knows what he talking about true MILLWALL player and manger so pround he got the chance 2 shine I got a feeling that MILLWALL going somewhere with bomber are manger we are going up say we are going up COYL NOLU, WDC

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      • May 28, 2015 at 16:08
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        @baz2262: Agree Baz, so far 20% win ratio for Bomber over the course of his 10 games in charge... sure to be higher in League 1 but need to be in and around automatic promotion for everyone to be happy by the look of it!

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      • May 28, 2015 at 18:45
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        @baz2262: always what ever league we are in I will always be loyal 2 our beloved MILLWALL

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      • May 28, 2015 at 19:11
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        @baz2262: He shouldn't be judged on the 10 games last season after inheriting the mess left by Holloway and equally he shouldn't be judged after five games next season. Even if we are as bad/good as we were at the end of last season we should be challenging the play-off positions so if we are not there or thereabouts by Christmas Bomber should have questions to answer, like any manager falling below expectations.

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          • June 7, 2015 at 13:53
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            @dave666: I say 23 games then we should see 4 other candidates hopefully it don't come 2 that super super neil super super neil super super neil super neil harris COYL NOLU WDC

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        • May 28, 2015 at 19:35
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          There are so many opinions I believe with the fans support we can all achieve more

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  • May 28, 2015 at 16:24
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    @Mekongriver: who would you like to see at the club then? I for one feel Gregory did a fairly decent job considering he jumped from Conference (ie non professional) to Championship level and professional status. Under the idiot Ollie who played him up front by himself. he toiled and we all could see it. But since Harris paired him with O'Brien, he has gained his confidence back. He just needs to work on his technique and ball control this summer and, if given the service from Fred and PCH, would become a force to be reckoned with. All we need is a big target man (and hopefully the board do splash the dosh more readily because of the transfer embargo from Jan 2016) to draw away the defence (sorry for me marquis isn't good enough, he struggled to score in L2 at Pompey and Northampton so why would L1 be any easier) and Gregory should do well.

    Rant over!

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    • May 28, 2015 at 17:09
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      @Millwall_Matt:
      I think Gregory's goal tally has been diluted cos of the full season stats. In fact, he scored 9 from 19 starts plus 11 sub appearences. That's a very good ratio, imo, for the championship and certain to do better in league 1. Bomber & Morison both came from non-league sides and did better during their 2nd season with us. I'd be surprised if Gregory, as long as he stays free from injury, didn't notch up around 20 goals next season.

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      • May 28, 2015 at 17:27
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        @Bolland: Although, I think I remember most of those coming from penalties. I think his first professional hat trick was 2 penalties, I believe against Derby if I remember correctly?

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  • May 28, 2015 at 16:42
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    Wake me up when the club has signed a player or two, all this repetitive speculation is boring. We are a division lower now so no reason to get carried away.

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  • May 28, 2015 at 16:54
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    4-5 signings may not be enough,:
    GK
    LB
    RB
    CB
    CMF
    Striker
    All these positions need at least one player

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  • May 28, 2015 at 17:24
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    I think we need 2 CBs, but may not need a RB is Carlos gets fit enough. Also, why do we need a CM? We have Jimmy, Jack, Upson, Williams. Do we need a striker? If Bomber wants four we have them: Gregory, Aiden, Marquis, Philpot. Ideally, I agree we should get one more experienced player but we don't have to if we can't find the right one. Fed up with useless forwards - give the youth a crack.

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    • May 28, 2015 at 23:56
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      @junkmale: I think Philpot will play a part this season but I doubt he will start any games. We need a Paul Moody type target man for our strikers to feed off. Possibly two to cover injuries, but maybe that's part of the role Marquis is expected to play?

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  • May 28, 2015 at 19:43
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    I think that like us, Bomber knows we can't take League one by storm with 11 kids.
    What i feel good about is that when I hear what he wants it's like talking to a die-hard Millwall fan.
    I'm sure we'll get the right players in. We certainly got rid of the right ones in the main which proves, beyond doubt, that Bomber knows a sack of s*** when he sees one. No more 34 yr olds with one leg and no heart. Roll on August.

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  • May 29, 2015 at 01:37
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    Why are there so many moaning c**** on NAD nowadays. Stop trying to take optimism away from fans who have had years of disappointment. Being a millwall fan is about the ups and the downs, don't like it then go and support Chelsea, arsenal, spurs even palace because your b******* isn't welcome here. Good luck to harris and the youth. I for one will be there for every game supporting them every step of the way. Win or lose!

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  • May 29, 2015 at 03:46
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    I really cant wait 4 the footy 2 start back up but 2 tell the truth im not getting 2 excited just yet. Look at the stories that was getting published last year when Olly took over and look what happened. Lets just wait and see.

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  • May 29, 2015 at 04:42
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    Should never got rid of Scott McDonald star for Motherwell last night - he was always played in the wrong position - another case of Wall getting everything wrong again. Anyway Wonen's world cup starts soon we will see some real football there those German birds are something!!! Millwall Lionesses have lost their last two games could be a double relegation still always look on the bright side of life - we don't live in North Korea. Lump on Jonathon Lutwyche EW to win Britain's got Talent - at least 50/1. How did that French bloke get on it with the talking dog - he is French not British mad roll on the referendum. Britain out when do we want it Now. Train strike coming up good old militants at it even before the dust has settled from the election. Have a nice weekend and if you have BT sport Sunday night Napoli v Lazio should be a peaky blinder. Be lucky this time next year we could all be millionaires. COYL.

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    • May 29, 2015 at 12:20
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      @Mekongriver: I've only just worked out that your tongue is firmly lodged in your cheek Mekon, very funny post mate!

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  • May 29, 2015 at 08:13
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    Scott McDonald was useless for mfc whatever position he played, as for looking good last night in an SPL play off, the standard is conference at best

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  • May 29, 2015 at 13:27
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    we need every player to be hungry not just the young ones, and the young ones shouldn't be afraid to make a mistake in case they get slated give them a chance they are young they will learn, once in every life time comes a chance like this. :)

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