Millwall manager Neil Harris wants senior players to step up

© Millwall FC
© Millwall FC

NEIL Harris wants more from his senior players as Millwall aim to end their losing sequence at home against Peterborough tomorrow.

Seven homegrown players featured in the defeat to Chesterfield on Saturday, including three teenagers.

Sid Nelson, Ben Thompson and Fred Onyedinma were joined in the starting line-up by Jack Powell, who made his first league start this season.

Harris was happier with an improved performance in the second half against the Spireites, but says he still hasn’t found the “right formula” for his side.

He explained. “If we can build momentum, which we did, then the fans will get behind us and if we keep creating chances then the goals will come.

“Unfortunately the chances did come but the goals didn’t which ultimately means we’ve gone another game without a home win.

“It’s difficult, you want to play in front of your fans, you want this to be a fortress.

“It’s not quite right so I have to search for the right formula of players and formation.

“But when we had the ball Jack did well. He gives us balance in midfield and I think in the second half when we were on top Jack was pivotal to what we did.

“He gave us a calmness in midfield and gives you quality set-play delivery.

“Some of the senior players haven’t necessarily performed outstandingly well at home and have had the feelings of the fans known to them, so we freshened up with the young lads.

"But with the young lads comes mistakes and lack of knowhow sometimes.

“It’s about getting the balance right.”

Dean Saunders, meanwhile, felt his side coped well with Millwall’s direct strategy and praised his goalkeeper Tommy Lee after he had made a couple of impressive saves.

He said: “That’s a good result for us and in the first half we played as well as we can play, we kept the ball off them. I don’t think they had a shot until 75 minutes.

“I knew at some stage they’d get a grip of what we were doing and eventually, a bit of it our fault and a bit of it their determination, they came out for the second half, rolled their sleeves up and had a right go at us.

“It’s difficult to play against when they’re that direct, their back four were just booming it on top of us and they’ve got some strong players up there.

“I’ve worked with Steve Morison and he’s a good player, uses his body well. We didn’t pick the second ball up at times and they were getting chances and Tommy Lee has made two great saves.”

John Kelly

(@jkelly1882)

67 thoughts on “Millwall manager Neil Harris wants senior players to step up

  • August 31, 2015 at 13:23
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    Its obvious you cant play jimmy and ben in mid.we did a seasoned pro who knows how to pass and close players down..that way be it jim or ben they can learn a lot in a shorter space of time

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    • August 31, 2015 at 17:10
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      @Jim28:

      this isn't news by the way - it is re-hash of comments made after the match -

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  • August 31, 2015 at 13:29
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    Think its about time our manager stood up to neil don't you

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  • August 31, 2015 at 13:34
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    It's not about what we do on the ball, it's about creating options when we are in possession, it's about movement, at the minute we are static off the ball. 4.3.3 would work if the players put in an energetic shift. Our full backs need to get forward too. We seem to be unfit or unmotivated we need a coach who can motivate them as people but at the same time kick them up the a*** when needed.
    We have looked unfit for the past three seasons weather hays down to actual fitness or just laziness I don't know... Get them motivated ASAP!!

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  • August 31, 2015 at 13:39
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    “Some of the senior players haven’t necessarily performed outstandingly well at home"

    No s*** Sherlock

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  • August 31, 2015 at 13:40
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    I don't care how many time you say it neil, it not going to happen they are not good enough

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  • August 31, 2015 at 13:40
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    We can't just balls up front it wot work football has moved on and if NH thinks this is the Millwall way we are in the s### we need to look at the system we play.
    our scouts need to find us players I know it's a different league and funds for wages but Swansea beat Man U yesterday and 2 of the best players on the park were free transfers we need to wake up or Div 2 here we come

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  • August 31, 2015 at 13:43
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    That's all well and good bomber if your senior players are good enough or performing which they're not.

    I really wonder wtf did they do in pre-season training including the fitness improving warm weather prep in Portugal.

    As things stand, I've resigned myself to another relegation dogfight - not happy!

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    • August 31, 2015 at 14:47
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      @Millwallsteve1972: I SAID IT BEFORE, AND WILL REPEAT ! STOP THESE 'FITNESS - TRIPS' , TO PORTUGAL PRE - SEASON. THE COST THE CLUB TOO MUCH, I'M SURE THE PLAYERS SEE THIS AS A BONUS HOLIDAY OF FUN & FROLICS.NOBODY SEEMS TO COME BACK SUPER FIT, ANYWAY. PLAYERS WANT A DRINK AFTER ONLY 10MINS INTO A GAME. I SAY GET THE 'BIG - CANE' OUT, ONLY THEN WILL WE SEE PLAYERS 'RUN' .( IT WORKED FOR A LOT OF US, AT SCHOOL ) HA, HA, HA. STORMIN' NORMAN HAS THE STICK AT THE READY!

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      • August 31, 2015 at 16:38
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        @bermlion:

        No argument here berm, old school of hard knocks is what they need mate.

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      • September 1, 2015 at 09:53
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        @bermlion: storm, been saying this for the last 3 seasons. Praising players for being fit is as redicilous as my boss praising me for turning up to work not p*****. Pre season is about practicing tactics and changing formations to suit the match. The appointment of Neil was really just a hopeful battle cry to try and get players fighting for the club, but now the "I want players to fight" and "I want to see our team playing the millwall way" (whatever the f*** that is) has died down, we are being seen for what we are, a team with some ok players being led by an experienced manager. If Neil is our future then why not blood all the youngsters and build for the future. Yes we will get our asses handed to us but that's no different to what's happening now, and maybe over the course if the season they will learn to play as a team, and maybe, just maybe we might stay up

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  • August 31, 2015 at 13:50
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    " I have to search for the right formula of players and formation." says Neil, but how long is a piece of string? I would have thought by now he would have found out his best team. The trouble is the squad he has is lacking in quality and experience, are there going to be any additions to the side? Perhaps Neil should question his own tactics as well, they seem very weak and inflexible.
    On another point why no comments from the board or chairman about the club's future? Are they prepared to invest more into the team? They should not be allowed to let Neil take all the flak.

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    • August 31, 2015 at 14:37
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      @Peckhamlad: The length of a piece of string is to take it from the middle & measure it to one end , then times it by 2 simples !! however Neil has a much harder task , the fact ( I use that word easily) that Neil took over Millwall as a sinking ship , his resources are mainly the youngsters , but they will come good as well as Neil will blossom as a manager , what we need to do is be patient & have belief & it will come. This is a time for us to be counted & its going to take a couple of seasons but im sure we will get there .

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  • August 31, 2015 at 14:10
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    Home form this season : P 5 W 0 D 0 L 5 F 5 A 14

    We are so far off finding the right formula that I can't see where the next home win will come from. Surely, something has to change ?

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    • September 1, 2015 at 09:57
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      @The Roar: oh mate you are soooooo funny! That has really cheered me up

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  • August 31, 2015 at 15:07
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    I know it's hard, but patience.

    I think we will win on Tuesday, and start to be more consistent.

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  • August 31, 2015 at 15:10
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    The manager used the word balance ? i aint seen none all season, we are anything but balanced, the individual merits of this player and that player isn't important in our case at the moment, what is important is being organised and difficult to beat ! bog standard 3rd division teams are playing through us like they are barca which they are not, the inexperienced management teams efforts so far are showing on the pitch, sorry but just think we need some honesty here !

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  • August 31, 2015 at 15:40
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    "Be patient" some say, for how long? Millwall supporters have been told this for years and years, and nothing has happened except the situation gets worse. We were asked to be patient with Lomas then Holloway and now Neil. We now find ourselves in div 1 without one win at home and a poor side.
    I think Millwall fans deserve better, they are the most loyal in the country. shell out hard earned money to go to away games and support at home that is dwindling.
    We want some action to reverse the dire state the club is in. "Patience is a virtue" reads the motto, but only when there is some good at the end of it.

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    • August 31, 2015 at 15:53
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      I agree with the comments about long suffering fans shelling out money and with little to no results over the last few years. But unless someone hits the lottery this is the road that has been chosen. @Peckhamlad:

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  • August 31, 2015 at 15:41
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    Think one of the problems is not having 2 full backs at the moment who are not confident on the ball bring back Martin and Edwards and we will start to attack the opposition down the wings the way Harris wants to

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  • August 31, 2015 at 15:44
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    Anyone are says thease players ain't good enough dream on its not the premier league is crap div 1 football and if you can't play in it then retire cos your crap we are more open them the channel tunnel and have as much rubbish coming through us taking our money

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  • August 31, 2015 at 16:17
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    i am just listening again to Ambler on lions live, and he has said that Harris is long term and that he is also 'happy' with his squad. so this is it, and we must hope he gets the right 'blend'.

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      • August 31, 2015 at 17:06
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        @detroitlion:
        her is my point - if t I long-term then at least teach the kids how to retain possession and play as a team instead of banging it forward - at least if we lose they are learning something

        teach nelson how to control a ball and pass it
        teach fred how to track back and release the ball earlier
        teach powell how to hold his position

        once I see these things there might be a point to losing

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        • August 31, 2015 at 18:08
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          That makes sense, hard to see but from the lions player commentary all three were absent on Saturday to some degree.@timchimes:

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    • August 31, 2015 at 16:53
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      @rowanonthewing7:

      THE FACT THAT AMBLER HAS NO IDEA ABOUT FOOTBAL SHOULD BE FACTORED IN TO THOSE COMMENTS -

      HOW DARE HE SAY WE NEED THE RIGHT BLEND _ WHAT DOES HE KNOW? _ JUST SAYING THINGS TO BUY TIME< AS ALWAYS

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  • August 31, 2015 at 16:23
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    In Harris I trust. I think that I would rather have him than some experienced League Manager complaining about lack of resources. Harris cares !! He will learn and we will get better. I think that the balance is almost there we look better 4-3-3 particularly when Gregory is not one of them.There are positives Thompson has looked a cracking little player, Sid seems to be coming more composed , and Fred is absolutely phenomenal !!

    We could do with a couple of players but I suppose every club says that . A Paul Moody type and perhaps a creative midfielder.

    Harris is a clever man and a leader and he and the club will progress if we support them.

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  • August 31, 2015 at 16:30
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    Harris you sound bit like holloway now!! I don't understand how a manager doesn't know his best team u train with them daily and surely u can see who is better than who that's your job if we do not go buy few players tomorrow then we are bang in trouble FACT.

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  • August 31, 2015 at 16:32
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    Senior players should step up? What senior players? We got rid of most of them at the end of last season. And we were supposed to replace them because apparently we have one of the biggest budgets in the division. But we didn't replace them and now we are left with a very young side with no leaders playing s**** football and getting beat every week. But at least we will have one of the biggest budgets in league 2 next season.

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    • August 31, 2015 at 16:56
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      @NPEgentlemansclub:

      so true - you kept these ones Neil - it is your fault - you step up

      I find these remarks from managers and players patronising and more importantly, disrespectful - they take us for idiots - Not good enough - the right combination and formation!!!! you have only had the whole summer to work it out

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    • August 31, 2015 at 21:01
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      @NPEgentlemansclub:
      What senior players?
      Try Forde Webster Craig Beevers Upson Williams Martin abdou Gregory Morison, there's your senior players. Its not a young side mate not with these lot in it ain't, and every one of them collectively and individually have let us down so far. The young ones can hold their heads up, Sid, Fred, Thompson and latterly Powell and O'Brien have shown them up attitude wise, I think this is what Harris is referring to.

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  • August 31, 2015 at 17:19
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    Less is more
    Until the club have something to boast about I would suggest they spent more time on the training pitch and tactics rather than giving excuse after excuse in interviews

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  • August 31, 2015 at 17:27
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    We need to wake up and smell the coffee.. The team Neil sends out, which ever players He decides are just not good enought.. I feel no mater what . We will lose. Us fans know. Neil should make the team strong at the back, hard to beat. .. Just go

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  • August 31, 2015 at 17:35
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    We have struggled big time now for 3 or 4 seasons.
    The players that left were not good enough.
    The players that stayed are not good enough.
    Lack of investment in the squad had taken its toll and leaves us struggling even in this League.
    We are in real danger of the old double relegation.
    Well done AA and JB ???

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  • August 31, 2015 at 18:12
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    I watched my first game at the Den in 1947. There have been good and bad times. But I have never known a more ineffective chairman. He obviously knows nothing about football. His choice of managers has been a joke. NH was a great Lion in his boots. Zero marks as manager. Well intentioned but no talent for tactics. The worst side ever to play in a Millwall shirt will see us end up playing pub sides on Sundays. As long as JB runs things we are doomed. When we are 24 points adrift with 2 games to play NH will walk and JB will give the job to whatever manager has just been sacked for getting his side relegated. FAns must start a campaign to rid the club of JB at once. Think Blackpool.

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    • September 1, 2015 at 12:04
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      @barry fantoni: Best post of this whole thread. I blame Berylson 100% for the awful state our club is in. Lets get rid before he destroys our club.

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  • August 31, 2015 at 18:42
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    Don't know about senior players stepping up I think the whole squad needs to step it up, you expect the supporters to do there bit I think it missing on the pitch.
    So less pointless statements from Wall FC and more Points on the board.

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  • August 31, 2015 at 18:54
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    Chesterfield played in the first half like I expected us to play this season at home. Bombing down the flanks getting the ball across and causing mayhem in the defence. Admittedly a drunken pigeon with the ball at its feet would cause mayhem in our back four. I thought we provided much more effort but with little idea in the second half. Why increase the playing area and play so narrow. Without Archer it would have all been over by half time like the Coventry game.

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    • August 31, 2015 at 19:08
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      @Windsor Lion: the pitch was lengthened to encourage us to play over the top. Trouble is we also play a high line pressing game and our defenders are a bit static, so opposition have worked out that the ball over the top works against us as well. Our defenders are not quick so we should play deeper and spread the ball wide to stretch the opposition, we have great players in Fred/PCH/AO'B that can attack from width let's start using them in that way. This squad is better than we are currently seeing from them.

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  • August 31, 2015 at 19:09
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    Was at the game on sat we had no idea what to do with the ball how to take players on no wing men to cross a decent ball.
    Why Gregory is in the team i have no idea did nothing all game why resign marquis if your not going to play him
    Morrison did naff all why on the wing when hes a centre forward.
    Harris is not manager material great player but just another cheap option by the board.
    Been supporting this club for over 40 years seen some crap but at least they had passion and tried to play football
    Its going to be another long hard season for the fans to endure

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  • August 31, 2015 at 19:13
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    This isn't news. If anybody needs to step up JB does.

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  • August 31, 2015 at 19:16
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    They say no news is good news but not in this case..

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  • August 31, 2015 at 19:32
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    Neil, yes your forwards do need to step up on a ladder to reach all those long balls.

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  • August 31, 2015 at 19:57
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    On a different note, anyone overseas know of a live stream to watch?

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    • August 31, 2015 at 20:26
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      @detroitlion: livers.ru sometimes has our games but not often. Wiziwig was good but I think it's shut down now.

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    • August 31, 2015 at 21:41
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      @detroitlion:

      Detroit - we wont be on any live stream in league one - only if we are on the occasional Sky match - championship matches are often covered but not L1

      many sites have been closed for Prem etc but this one survives

      http://tvcric.info/sky-sports-2-live-streaming-crictime/

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  • August 31, 2015 at 20:30
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    How about comedy central they might have it live

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  • August 31, 2015 at 20:47
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    Looks like to be news by this week at least 3 signings

    COYL

    NOLU WDC

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  • August 31, 2015 at 20:54
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    just throwing this out there, i know it wont happen, but, Bailey on a pay and play one season deal, and Trotter back on a season loan, a midfield leader and tackler, and a playmaker who will play the passes for the runs that gregory, o'brien and morrison make ! Plus the younger players will learn from them. Its all very well playing the youngsters, who have great potential, but they will not progress if we keep losing. anyway tin hat on, ready for the flack !!!!!! COYL

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  • August 31, 2015 at 21:42
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    i take it by comments like that from neil, that we were never ever going to buy anyone else before tuesdays deadline! I WONDER WHY.under this yank and board( what happened to his marvellous 5 year plan) they are making our great club a laughing stock, and the brunt AGAIN of jokes from the likes of rivals etc .if they could nt see where there decisions have taken us over the last 2 seasons then i am afraid we have not much to look forward to .get out on the pitch before next home game and tell us your future plans for this club as most of us have been here a hell of a lot longer than you we deserve it after the last three seasons.

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  • August 31, 2015 at 21:53
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    OK, Let's get this clear at the start,
    Bomber was a great player for Millwall, one of the best strikers I've seen play for us. The issue is that to put him in charge of Millwall in the hope that his 'Never say die ' attitude would rub off clearly hasn't worked. I think a lot of people would cite Kitchener as one of the best, but in all fairness he struggled during his brief spell in charge. Hurlock-My personal all time favourite-would not have made a good manager. The list in that category is endless. Shearer at Newcastle etc.
    What needs to happen is to get a seasoned manager in place. The current squad are, in my opinion, good enough to get us promoted. What we need is someone with a bit of nous at this level. If Saunders is quoted as saying " “I knew at some stage they’d get a grip of what we were doing ..." that speaks volumes. Putting on the shirt, playing at home and playing Status Quo is no longer what it used to be and I reckon it needs to change. Let Bomber run the Juniors-That's what he's good at and get someone in who has experience at this level cos we're dropping like an anchor and if anyone thinks tomorrow night will see a turnaround then sorry-you're wrong.

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  • August 31, 2015 at 21:57
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    I'll give you a major fact about player performance at home. I travelled down on Saturday from Leeds and watched our lads and was appalled at our so called fans absolutely slating the f@@k out of the very first mistake at which point I noticed a massive difference in player cohesion and dare I say "enthusiasm". WTF are we doing to the team...especially the newbies???? I know the counter arguments about they are paid to ignore sh@t like that but come on....where's the die hard f@@k'm all attitude that I have become accustomed too since 75 at my first game?? Some of you should stay the f@@k away as that type of support is part of the problem.
    Stick by the lads and give them good encouraging support and perhaps they will respond better....lets do our part ay!!!

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    • August 31, 2015 at 22:46
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      I find that too mate, too much has gone on over the last 4-5 seasons and the crowd are freezing just like the players do. Panic sets in and the abuse starts. I think we as the fans need to show the players what a bit of backbone is and focus the antagonism on the opposition.

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    • August 31, 2015 at 22:55
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      @lionindirtyyorkyland:
      Blimey mate, you travelled all the way down from leeds and back to watch that? Fair play I take my hat off to you, great support that is.

      I agree in principle what you say but even me, an eternal optimist, was/is just so frustrated at the way things are going at home, so I can understand people's anger. The only thing that will change the feeling of trepidation felt by fans will be some wins, I don't mean one win followed by a draw and a loss but a run of say three wins on the spin and the confidence and belief will come flooding back for players and fans alike. I'm stating the obvious I know but we need to rid ourselves of the vicious circle we are in now of after 10 mins the fans start to moan then players get nervous then the mistakes happen and ultimately we lose.

      I'm hoping against hope that something sooner or later will click, a formation change, a new player or even Carlos coming back at his best and we will come good, four straight home defeats is simply unacceptable at any level.

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  • September 1, 2015 at 04:00
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    @NICKOLA: I wondered how long it would be before you started up about getting another manager in, you wanted JACKETT out , the best manager this clubs had for donkey's years ,I wrote then " be careful what you wish for" we then got LOMAS and it wasn't long before you wanted him out, We then got HOLLOWAY , after a while you wanted him out, now you want HARRIS out , he's only been in the job 5 mins. You want another manager with "experience at this level, what like HOLLOWAY you mean, who would you like , name some names , who's out there that being realistic millwall could go and get. I say give Harris some time, he may well make a decent manager. You have got rid of 3 managers , and now your on your 4th , well that hasn't worked has it.

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    • September 1, 2015 at 13:23
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      @bordersarebest0170: I was indeed one of the vast majority who felt Jackett's time had come. Lomas and Holloway? Well, unfortunately, I'm not in the position to have hired these two managers but again I wasn't alone in wanting these two idiots gone. More like 99% of us.
      As for Bomber, love him to pieces but he's not going to turn it around.

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  • September 1, 2015 at 07:21
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    Get them all on Strictly Come Dancing to learn some proper footwork. Everybody has seen this all before - the top management is to blame lock stock and barrel - fact. No money, no ground, no bottle and an inexperienced manager put in to pacify the fans. Well lets hope tonight something is positive - I think all the fans should stay away tonight so the team get no barracking and hassle.
    A win would do wonders then they can to Spain for some bonding and all that - f..............g joke -
    Wall are finished and its down we go always look on the bright side of life - yep alright - yep I remember all you slaters on here re Sir KJ he done wonders promotion, Wembley trips stopped us from relegation - but they would not give him the money - so there you have it Management Top management the root of all the issue - why because they have an hidden agenda.

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  • September 1, 2015 at 11:43
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    Tatical they never had a clue until they put wingers on and morrison up front, And cant understand why Paris is in the starting line up

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  • September 1, 2015 at 13:32
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    That Angel we released at the end of last season played against us on Saturday, and he done everything that a CM/CDM does, and done it very well. Just our luck he was injured and was never played for us to see what he could do.

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  • September 1, 2015 at 17:14
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    Great to see all our divisional rivals are busy in the transfer market and we remain static, extended ferguson's loan spell but no news of any further additions.

    when is this farce going to end, we release 18 players and replace them we untried youngsters who have not played at this level and a couple of bargain basement players. whats worrying is how the board are remaining silent over this crisis just like they did with clown and acted when it was too late.
    League 1 is bad but league 2 is where we are heading unless something is done now.

    NH is a legend and I want it to stay this way and I think we need a director of football to come in and help him, someone like Neil Warnock or Paul Lambert people who know how to get out of this division.

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