Millwall boss: Bigger pitch will suit our mobile attackers

© Edmund Boyden
© Edmund Boyden

NEIL Harris says he made the decision to extend the length of the playing surface at The Den by six metres because it will suit his mobile attackers.

Harris instructed the ground staff to increase the length of the pitch to 106 metres as part of maintenance work at the ground.

It is further insight into the brand of football the Millwall boss wants his side to play.

“I noticed during the charity game at the end of the season that the pitch was nowhere near as big as it was originally,” Harris explained. “It dawned on me that I would’ve liked to have played on a bigger pitch with space to run into.

“I think the good sides I played in, we played on a big pitch. The Den was made into a big pitch for one reason and one reason only – to play attractive, attacking football with pace and power in the team and that’s where we want to get to.

“It made sense to me to resize the pitch; it will enable us to get forward into dangerous areas and with our athleticism, our players will be able to get around the pitch. It’ll certainly benefit us as a team and a squad and should see the open attacking football that we want to see.

“When you’ve got players in the building like Lee Gregory, Aiden O’Brien, John Marquis, Fred Onyedinma, Paris Cowan-Hall, Lee Martin, Ed (Upson) and Jimmy (Abdou), you’ve got athletes and runners.

“You’ve got pace and players who can run and run and run, and we can use that to our advantage.”

The flipside is Millwall will have to adapt to playing on tighter pitches away from The Den, but Harris isn’t worried by that prospect.

“I think it’ll be different, it always is when you go to away grounds. It goes both ways: we’ll have the advantage at home on the bigger pitch, but when you go away and play on a smaller pitch then it’s my decision to mix the tactics or the team to suit the opposition and the pitch.

“But I don’t see that as a problem.”

John Kelly

(@jkelly1882)

9 thoughts on “Millwall boss: Bigger pitch will suit our mobile attackers

  • June 15, 2015 at 10:38
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    Good move I think, making the Den a bit different to other grounds and even more of a test to the away team. I am sure having to adjust to playing on a bigger pitch is more of a disadvantage, if you are use to a smaller playing area than having to adjust to a smaller pitch when we play away.

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  • June 15, 2015 at 10:53
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    Bigger pitch equals more space but for the away teams too and could make us more susceptible to long ball counter more often. Our defensive frailties showed a lack of pace too. This pitch change also will not guarantee we will have playing staff in the near future or beyond who will appreciate it. Playing away will be more challenging and opposition teams will know we will have a handicap no matter how it's dressed up. The playing surface is more important (no rugby please).

    I hope too this doesn't lead to more injuries in having to run more too.

    Hope it works out but I have my reservations and it's not a white elephant - plenty of those with coco the clown.

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  • June 15, 2015 at 11:18
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    The best thing about this is that the away teams will be much nearer to the Cold Blow Lane.
    I bet the visiting keepers are going to love it.
    Happy days.

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  • June 15, 2015 at 11:33
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    Bomber is thinking about the whole picture by the looks of things and changing the pitch to suit our playing style can only be a good thing because it means we will have a playing style, something that we haven't had for a while. I don't think things are going to be as bad as a lot of people think, especially non Wall who I speak to, they think our squad is poor and we will struggle. I think the play offs are a very and we will be fine. Good luck to Bomber he has been impressive so far.

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  • June 15, 2015 at 11:34
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    Was supposed to read the play offs are a cert

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  • June 15, 2015 at 11:51
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    Another same story absolutely crap - there is more news in my old shed than on this site.
    Yep bigger pitch for Fordee to slice his goal kicks on and more space for the youngsters HORATIO,AOB and Fred who has not signed yet. He aledgedly is hanging out with his agent for a possible better deal otherwise would have signed. Can't see what all the fuss is about he scored a couple of goals for Wycombe so he going to set Div1 alight yeah all right. Roll on tomorrow must have something on the youngsters not been on for a couple of days - interesting real news wanted please. Like the Jimmi saga and TC coming back something interesting - oh yes and the new striker my money is on the Hoff getting a 5 year deal.

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  • June 15, 2015 at 12:45
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    That's the pitch sorted now let's get the screen fixed looks like a builders yard. The advertising money we are losing is unbelievable come on Andrex sort it out. Don't want to hear any rubbish like we can't afford it.

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  • June 15, 2015 at 13:41
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    All sounds good. A lot of the top European clubs play on surface dimensions of 105 x 68 metres, not sure if the Den fully matches up with that but it will definitely give the pitch a more 'intimate feel' for players and fans alike which is good. Would love to see the Den fully enclosed with the corners properly filled in because then it would create such a cauldron of noise and atmosphere! Juventus' new stadium has that feel to it and the pitch and stands are literally on top of each. Its fantastic! Make it happen Bomber!

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    • June 15, 2015 at 21:40
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      @Bexley_Lion: Why would the club fit extra seats when we only half fill the ground on a good day. More important to spend money on a decent CB, striker and keeper. Then if we get back to the Championship we can think again about the corners.

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