NEIL Harris was pleased with the aggression shown by his players against CD Tondela – but he wants to ensure it’s channelled in the correct manner.
Saturday’s match contained several flashpoints, with referee Lee Collins brandishing yellow cards to John Marquis and Pica.
There were also a number of robust challenges that raised tempers on both sides and had it been a league game there may not have been 22 players on the pitch at the final whistle.
The Portuguese made their intentions clear from the start with some crisp, intricate passing to manoeuvre their way out of tight areas, but they also showed they were able to mix it when the physical ante was upped.
Tondela went ahead after Millwall had given away a free-kick on the right and Luis Tinoco’s in-swinger eluded everyone to find the far corner of David Forde’s goal.
And Harris wants his side to be more wary of giving away sloppy free-kicks.
He said: “There’s a difference between being a Millwall player and a Millwall team with aggression, passion and desire, and being petulant and giving silly free-kicks away anywhere on the pitch.
“We want a flow to the game. We want the game to be fast and open, end to end, but if we’re giving cheap free-kicks away like we did (on Saturday) at times then the game’s not going to flow.
“But it was an excellent test for us against a fast, organised team leading up to the start of the season.”
Meanwhile Harris was relieved that a couple of players whose pre-seasons have been disrupted by injury emerged unscathed from the game.
“We got an excellent 75 minutes from Lee Martin,” he said. “His running and pace is always going to be there but he has added an end product to it in pre-season, getting balls in the box with quality for other players to get on the end of.
“He’s edging in the right direction and it’s good he got those 75 minutes.
“Lee Gregory got 90 minutes which was really important. Some of his movement was really good. Some of his running off the ball was excellent. It was really key that they came through the game.
“There was loads of really good stuff, but we were disappointed with the manner of the goals and the timing of them as well.”