Manager Harris: The Millwall squad are ahead of schedule

© Millwall FC
© Millwall FC

Millwall boss Neil Harris says his squad are in “great condition” after a week of pre-season training.

After assessing the players’ physical levels last week Harris and his management team have been overseeing football drills this week.

The players have had early starts, arriving at the training ground before 8am and working through the morning before finishing with gym sessions in the afternoon.

Temperatures rose as the week went on but Harris believes the work the players did in the off-season has given them a head start.

“The boys are in great condition so we’ve really been able to step up the football work quite quickly,” he said. “They minded themselves really well during the summer which shows they all want to be at their best all the time.

“We’ve got a real good bunch of pros. We’re a few days ahead of schedule. We came back early anyway so we’re happy with where we are.”

Harris also confirmed midfielder Shaun Williams has been able to participate fully this week after his injury lay-off.

“Shaun’s done really well,” he added. “He’s ahead of schedule. He’s where we hoped he would be and the hope is he continues to tick along.

“We have to be mindful that he had a really nasty injury so we have to be cautious but he’s a naturally fit boy anyway as well.

Meanwhile Harris says that despite having achieved the aim of reducing the average age of the squad, he would consider bringing in a player in his 30s if he was the right fit.

He said: “When we’re talking about one player in a specific position it’s irrelevant for me how old the player is. We’re doing our homework on all aspects of players, from fitness to mindset and all the rest of it.

“We want to bring in the right character and whether he’s 18 years old or 33, that’s not important to me.”

John Kelly

(@jkelly1882)

48 thoughts on “Manager Harris: The Millwall squad are ahead of schedule

  • July 2, 2015 at 12:03
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    I still think we have a very good League 1 team going forward and should do particularly well.... BUT Harris needs to be a bit careful of what he says to the media!!

    I love Harris as he is a legend at this club and will be for a very long time but as a Manager it's worrying. He started out his reign saying he wants young & hungry players, now he's ok with trialists and players well into their 30's??? All we need is another Striker (who is PROVEN at this level) and a defender and we are good to go for the season.

    Forde/Archer
    Cummings/Edwards Webster Nelson/Beevers Allen
    PCH Willams/Upson Abdou Fred
    Gregory O'Brien/Marquis

    On the face of it, it's a good team but only Upson & Williams are experienced at this level

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    • July 2, 2015 at 12:13
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      @Bradders: I don't think Harris has said much wrong, of course he wants a young and hungry team but he never said that the entire squad had to fit into that category. The average age is well down and propping it up with a few more experienced heads can only help.
      I agree the team looks OK on paper, Forde, Jimmy and Marquis are also experienced at the level but I wouldn't mind one or two journey men t help it along (in the Moody/Claridge mould that is)

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      • July 2, 2015 at 12:23
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        @Steve: Come on mate, look at what he has said before and what us fans want, he is meant to be one of us! Yes the average age of the squad has been brought down but that was always going to happen whether we had Harris or any other manager.... I just don't see why we would look at an old washed up.

        For every Claridge there is a Rob Hulse + Gifton Noel Williams + more, for every Paul Moody there is a Ricardo Fuller + The Hof + more.

        I would like to see us make a statement of buying a player who is proven at this level at scoring goals or maybe someone younger from a prem team or even someone who bangs in a load of goals in the conference of League 2... Just a bit of intent from us and show we mean business!!

        Gregory must be rubbing his hands together thinking he will be playing every week!

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    • July 2, 2015 at 15:24
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      @Bradders:
      Your just reading too much into it. You can't have a whole team who are youngsters, so therefore it's common sense that tells us that we will be getting in 1 or 2 older heads. And as long as they are good enough for this level that's fine by me. Some people are really over-hyping up our youngsters without even seeing most of them play. We haven't got future superstars in our squad we have youngsters who could still go either way in the careers, depending on attitude etc. We are now in a league where our youngsters will get bullied sometimes (just look vs bradford last season and stead/Hanson vs sid), so we need to be able to compete like that too, and you won't get that with a bunch of kids.

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  • July 2, 2015 at 12:12
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    Is this the excuse for a washed up 34 year old striker to be on his way. Hope im wrong but sadly I reckon that will be what we will go after as we are too scared to fork out a few quid!

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  • July 2, 2015 at 12:17
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    He's just found out arfter losing out on his targets ,how much Berylson and Ambler are prepared to pay,so trialists and 30 year olds it is then,funny everything they weren't gonna do they are now thinking of doing thought we had the third biggest budget in this league!!........only if your prepared to spend it, remember fuller ..free....s macdonld...free I could go on .

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    • July 2, 2015 at 12:36
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      @The Roar: The budget includes wages as well, we have a lot of players still on Championship wages, which is why our budget is most probably one of the highest!

      The last time we put a meaningful bid in was for Chris Wood £1.25mil which at the time was accepted but Wood rejected it as he was offered £25k per week at Leicester and they had a better chance of promotion than we did!

      I don't want to see another old, washed up player again, too many to name in the last few years... including Rob Hulse who after his stint with us retired... just about says it all!!

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      • July 2, 2015 at 14:13
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        The only reason that NH has said that we might need older players is that there maybe signs of immaturity in the squad and maybe needs a bit of experience on the pitch that will calm and lead the youngsters, we are all under the impression that these youngsters are our immediate saviours, but they will be competing in their first full season as seniors, plus with emotions it can be quite a difficult period for these kids...remember how Beckham got sent off against the Argentinian's because of his immaturity and inexperience...players don't really reach their peak until late 20's. So we need players to guide them, we should hold back on criticism until we are into the second quarter of the season...

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      • July 2, 2015 at 15:16
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        @Bradders:
        No we don't. All players took a wage cut when we got relegated. None of them other than forde are on a 'championship' wage.

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        • July 2, 2015 at 15:51
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          @82wall: Prove it????? I said probably used for wages numb nuts! The only fact here is that we have the 3rd highest playing budget in League 1.

          You look at some of the teams in our league and you tell me who apart from Wigan and Sheff Utd have a bigger budget??

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          • July 2, 2015 at 17:43
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            @Bradders:
            Pipe down you melt. 'Prove it' , what are you, 15,16? It's FACT mate. If you read articles properly maybe you'd have remembered. It was widely reported when we got relegated that the players had to take a wage cut. It's also common sense! Every club does it, although I believe leyton orient messed up and didn't include the same clauses in some of their players contracts... But still it is common. Also, why do you think we are trying our hardest to flog forde? I'll tell you, it's because he was in the top 3 of our highest earners(the other 2 are gone) and even with his wage cut, he is still earning a decent 'championship' wage. Numb nuts. What a d*** head you really are getting all like that just because someone knows abit more than you. Sort your life out you moany little b****.

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          • July 2, 2015 at 17:53
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            @Bradders:
            And by the way, I make you spot on about the budget etc. We are probably just behind wigan and sheff utd in terms of budget (only just though) and will probably be on a par with someone like bradford. Wigan have just spent 1 million pound on a striker. We will all be long gone and buried before this board spend that kind of money.

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        • July 3, 2015 at 08:54
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          @82wall: You have said "No we don't" to having players on Championship wages.... You have no idea whether they took a 5% deduction or 25% deduction or a 50% deduction so not sure how you can categorically say "NO WE DON'T" because I very very much doubt you know for sure.... unless you can prove me wrong??

          You are absolutely right about Forde being a high earner (based on what has been said and read) .... although I very much doubt every single player has negotiated the same % cut in their salary if we was relegated, it's all part of negotiation or do you think the chairman sat in a room with all players and said - If we get relegated you are all taking a 25% cut??

          You seem to know all the facts @82wall, enlighten me some more with your inside knowledge of contracts & the budget at Millwall. Unfortunately my opinion is a culmination of what I've read and heard, which is why when I post I say probably or possibly... just for your information mate.

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  • July 2, 2015 at 12:29
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    Thats worrying may as well have kept fuller then .forget the journeymen neil TC would be a fine addition but a young hungry squad playing for the shirt and not the pay cheque is required

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  • July 2, 2015 at 12:31
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    Give the man a chance for f**** sake, Harris quite clearly says he will only bring in 30plus players if they are the right fit for the club.

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    • July 2, 2015 at 12:46
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      @Jimmy Abdous Hip: Like you jimmy i wish people would give NH a some latitude on the subject of older player's,after all he will be bringing in a couple of older more experienced player's to compliment and help the younger player's we now have in the side,i see nothing wrong in that as long as NH say's they are the right fit.
      It is totally different from the clown IH who brought in older player's to be be the mainstay of the team,and persisted with them when it was clear they could not do the job.

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      • July 2, 2015 at 13:06
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        @jim1222: What's the point bringing up Holloway, had too many arguments with people about Holloway.... Yes I'm very glad he has gone, Yes shi*e tactics, some awful signings (who by the way were only given short term deals and clearly he saw they were not the future of the club).

        Remember he brought in Upson, Edwards, Williams, PCH, Gregory and gave Nelson & Obrien a chance too who are now "mainstay". All the other players he signed for stop-gaps until he could free up some of the budget at the end of the season once all the contracts ran out, when he like everyone else knew the older players were going!! While he also pushed for the extra financing of the academy!

        Holloway had a shoe-string budget because Lomas spent it all on 2 year deals for old has beens!! The moment we signed any players on short term deals we went over the Financial Fair Play limit.

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        • July 2, 2015 at 14:13
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          @Bradders: Bradder's i only brought up holloway as a comparison,in just the same way you brought up Lomas in the defence of holloway.My concern's are with NH at the moment,after all he has had to clear out so much rubbish that should not even have been at the club,and lomas and holloway have a lot to answer for.It seem's to me because NH may be prepared to bring one or two older more experienced player's in to help the youngster's,or it may be that is all we can afford,some people are showing sign's of getting on his back.

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          • July 2, 2015 at 15:55
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            @jim1222: I think all of our concerns are with NH at the moment. He didn't have to clear out any rubbish as the contracts were coming to an end anyway... he just had the extremely easy decision whether to retain them or not.

            I would just like to see Millwall spend some money on a proven scorer at this level... we released 18, cut wages, sold more season tickets than last season... yet have no decent money to spend... a bit odd don't you think?

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    • July 2, 2015 at 12:51
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      @Jimmy Abdous Hip: I think everyone will be giving him a chance, nobody has said they wont.... but ALL of this has been said before so you can understand people being sceptical!!

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  • July 2, 2015 at 14:18
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    Yet more camouflage to soften up the fans for a possible over the hill signing. If the club had the ambition they so often say they have then why are they trawling around the "charity shops" of football looking for the "right character" of player? What is the "right character" of player anyway? Someone who is on a free transfer and at the fag end of his career? If the club had ambition they would have already sorted a good striker and defender and been prepared to pay a decent transfer fee.
    As others have wisely mentioned on this board why not bring Maggi back? He would probably do very well in this league.

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  • July 2, 2015 at 14:48
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    It's all if buts and maybes at the moment. Calm down wait and see the youngsters just might surprise us all give em a chance before we rip Harris and team for God sake

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  • July 2, 2015 at 14:55
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    He won't want £6k a week and play in league 1, he will want championship minimum and 10k, ambition

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  • July 2, 2015 at 15:05
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    Every team in the league has got a over 30 year old in there team why should we be any different & they ain't that good either. But when called on they can have a calming impact on the younger players. Good example Carlos Edwards

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  • July 2, 2015 at 15:10
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    Archer
    Beevers/Webster. Nelson
    Edwards/Cummings. Martin
    Williams(C)
    Upson. L.Martin/P.C.H
    O'Brien
    Marquis. Gregory

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  • July 2, 2015 at 17:48
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    How do we let teams like bury, who nearly went out of business not long ago get tom pope and Leon Clarke,surely we must be a better prospect than bury, don't understand what is happening at our club,we don't seem to be interested in getting anyone at least halve decent that nows were the net is,we still have a alot of good players left from championship but that means f*** all if we don't stick the ball in the net on a regular basis

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  • July 2, 2015 at 18:17
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    Brentford buys 2.5 million defender. Millwall lose race for 1/2 million strike. Enough said :(

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  • July 2, 2015 at 18:19
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    West Ham sell out crowd tonight - new stadium on the horizon - they can even play their reserves and youngsters in this RUFA Qual round game. Where did we go wrong - why can't we get 20,000 crowds -
    same principle all Londoners moved out of London to Essex. Wall Londoners moved out to Kent - what part of the equation is missing here - cannot work it out - so to all you brainboxes away you go.
    Why won't we get 20,000 for our first home game of the season to Coventry, tickets to dear, to far to travel, fed up with Wall, board has no ambition/ supporters see us on a downward spiral. Or is it the thought of ground share with Bromley there is not even ambition to play big teams in pre season friendlies to get some money in - something is terribly wrong. I watched Wall in the 50s when we beat Newcastle 2-1 in the cup there were thousands upon thousands there - where has it all gone wrong.

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    • July 4, 2015 at 12:53
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      @Mekongriver:
      'We' , what do you mean 'we'? Your about as Millwall as Trevor Brooking and Bobby Moore you spinless c U n t.

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  • July 2, 2015 at 18:26
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    Poor Neil is going into a fight with one arm tied behind he's back.. With all us fans giving him our support . The board will watch him swim with sharks and if he fails they will say he was to young. Be honest boys. If he could buy the players he wanted. Then he would have a good chance in this very , very hard league.

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    • July 2, 2015 at 18:39
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      @teddy.T: Very hard League ?
      League One is nowhere near as strong next season as it was when we left in 2009/10.
      Some teams that season were;
      Norwich.
      Leeds.
      Charlton.
      Huddersfield.
      Southampton.
      Brighton.
      And Milton Keynes,Brentford - you get my drift.
      Southampton finished 7th that season,but still scored 85 goals !!!!
      The difference is that there seems to be more ambition Clubs than us although they are smaller.
      Over to you JB ?

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  • July 2, 2015 at 19:13
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    I read with interest the lack of money available for decent players and agree. However the clun loses money year on year and JB loans money to Millwall holdings so we keep our head above water. We are a small club and must now hope that we can bring the youth through. I alao agree that you need older experienced players to helo the younger guys. I can see Morison coming back to us as Leeds signing Wood he will be down the pecking order. He scored over 20 goals the last time he played in league one and that was for us hemust be at least 30. At least he knows the ckub and what the suporters want. What doesother feel about a moro return to the clubget Cahill and we will be laughing come on Tim come bsck to where you stsrted.

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  • July 2, 2015 at 19:14
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    I read with interest the lack of money available for decent players and agree. However the clun loses money year on year and JB loans money to Millwall holdings so we keep our head above water. We are a small club and must now hope that we can bring the youth through. I alao agree that you need older experienced players to helo the younger guys. I can see Morison coming back to us as Leeds signing Wood he will be down the pecking order. He scored over 20 goals the last time he played in league one and that was for us hemust be at least 30. At least he knows the ckub and what the suporters want. What doesother feel about a moro return to the clubget Cahill and we will be laughing come on Tim come bsck to where you started.

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  • July 2, 2015 at 19:16
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    I read with interest the lack of money available for decent players and agree. However the clun loses money year on year and JB loans money to Millwall holdings so we keep our head above water. We are a small club and must now hope that we can bring the youth through. I alao agree that you need older experienced players to helo the younger guys. I can see Morison coming back to us as Leeds signing Wood he will be down the pecking order. He scored over 20 goals the last time he played in league one and that was for us he must be at least 30. At least he knows the club and what the suporters want. What doese other feel about a moro return to the clubget Cahill and we will be laughing come on Tim come back to where you started.

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  • July 2, 2015 at 19:44
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    There is a lot said about age and maturity, one must remember, some young players can have a wise head on there shoulders and some of the older players can be a bit juvenile at times and some can still run around like a spring chicken (Carlos) and some of the younger players can be a bit lazy and vice versa, I think we will have to wait and see, lets not prejudge any player. 32 doesn't mean your past it. We all want the best we can get but we can only buy what we can afford and big bucks doesn't always been big performances, I can recall a few white elephants over the years.

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  • July 2, 2015 at 20:21
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    talking of aged players, who remembers Roger Miller the Camaroon player? he was getting on a bit but none of the pundits could tell us how old he really was i think they said he didn't know him self how old he was.
    England were lucky that year against Cameroon as I recall.

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  • July 2, 2015 at 23:13
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    Forde has a clause in contract that releases him for free if relegated so isn't necessarily the club trying to flog him just Forde weighing up options of he stays or goes which will probably come down to whether Ireland will select him if playing league one. If he stays I reckon he'll get the captains armband.

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  • July 4, 2015 at 13:22
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    if we end up with Forde in goal and captain we are doomed and I would like us to cash in on Williams cos he is a bottle job....

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  • July 4, 2015 at 13:23
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    I aint too keen on Lee Martin, Cummings or Webster....

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