Millwall boss Harris: I'm closer to knowing first-choice side

© Millwall FC
© Millwall FC

MILLWALL manager Neil Harris says he has “learned a lot” about his squad after a difficult first part of the season.

The Lions face a crucial week next week with three fixtures against teams also occupying places in the lower reaches of Sky Bet League One.

The squad travel to bottom-place Crewe on Saturday knowing a loss would see the Railwaymen leapfrog them in the table.

They then play Port Vale and Southend, both of whom are coming off the back of wins in their last games and who are two points ahead of Harris’ side.

And he acknowledged the importance of three games which could have a big influence in shaping Millwall’s season.

Harris said: “I’ve learned a lot about my players in the last four weeks, I’m a lot clearer on some of them. I still think there’s a balance to get right.

“I’ve had to search at times because of injury to get the right balance and I’m a lot clearer now on team selection and what will be my settled team.

“That will be evident in my starting XI from Saturday onwards.

“Ideally you’d play Saturday to Saturday to give you the time to recover and to give you an opportunity to plan for the next game.

“I’d love to have played Saturday, we were ready for the Port Vale game. But with the international call-ups had we picked up a few injuries against Peterborough we would have been light.

“What the break has done is give us an opportunity to see Crewe, Port Vale and Southend so we know exactly what we’re up against.

“A lot of our preparations for those games have been done already and it’s been a good week for us.

“It’s a big week for us now. We go to Crewe, which is always tough, we go to Port Vale, and then Southend at home who’ve had some good results and who are finding their feet at this level.

“They are three games against teams who find themselves early on in a similar position to us. And they are three games after which we hope to have more points on the board.”

John Kelly

(@jkelly1882)

31 thoughts on “Millwall boss Harris: I'm closer to knowing first-choice side

  • September 9, 2015 at 13:02
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    it's fine harris. the real fans will give you time, rome wasn't built in a day! we have a solid keeper to build from now and everyone knows you build from the back. archer is a great addition to our squad and with edwards back in the fold and joe martin soon to be as well i think we're be fine. all i would say is make edwards captain! drop craig as he's not really performing. stick sid and beevers at cb with joe at lb then we'll be fine. i'd like to see us play the 4-4-2 diamond formation with jimmy in front of the defense. two fast wingers in pch and fred on the other side then morro and either pavey or o'brian up front. gregory is not good enough. COYL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  • September 9, 2015 at 13:05
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    As long as its not the "play the diagonal ball up to the striker from the kick-off" tactic and "hoof the ball up at every opportunity" that every opposition manager is aware of then I fancy us getting a maximum points return from those games.

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  • September 9, 2015 at 13:12
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    I thought he would have known his best side by now, by admitting that " with the international call-ups had we picked up a few injuries against Peterborough we would have been light." his squad is weak. Surely it should have been strengthened a lot more, Saturday against the bottom club Crewe is a litmus test, we have to pass.

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    • September 9, 2015 at 19:47
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      @Peckhamlad: his best side will be named april 30th 2016?step down neil and stay a legend.hope you prove me wrong.if you do I will buy you a pint in harrys bar if you lend me a fiver.

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  • September 9, 2015 at 13:15
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    Quite agree Bexley, we look so much better when we pass the ball, tbe fact the pitch is wider must also mean that it would be a better way to play.

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  • September 9, 2015 at 13:17
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    I would personally start Marquis every away game for him to gain confidence.

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    • September 9, 2015 at 16:52
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      @Dazi: I can only assume that you're Marquis's Dad with that comment.

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      • September 9, 2015 at 20:46
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        @billy88: haha no, he's older than me. However Harris has to do something with the lad. He scored goals for Gillingham which shows he is capable.

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  • September 9, 2015 at 13:58
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    More pony. Fact is, we only have 4 points from 5 games. Get nought from these games and we are really in the brown stuff!!

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  • September 9, 2015 at 14:15
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    beethoven if we get naf all my son from these games not only are we in trouble but i fear harris will be in the brown stuff

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    • September 9, 2015 at 18:14
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      @spanner41:
      I'll bet you whatever you like that he wouldn't get the sack if we lost the next 2 games. Harris is here for a while, weather the haters like it or not.

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      • September 9, 2015 at 18:47
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        @82wall:

        And that's based on what?
        f*** me, you are Harry Potter and I claim my £5.00.

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        • September 9, 2015 at 23:18
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          @lowdown:
          I base that on the fact I clearly follow things a lot more closely than you do. It was only 2 weeks ago ambler was on lions live and basically said harris is here for the long term. It was then followed up in the Southwark news and the SLP. Most of us knew that anyway to be honest, only a fool thinks harris should be gone this early. Plus the fact we have been told by the board not to expect promotion this season becuase harris needs time to bring through the youth. So you can f*** off with your sarcastic comments becuase you know f*** all!, mate.

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  • September 9, 2015 at 14:17
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    NH is going through his toughest test as manager currently.

    The results have not gone his way and he's had to make some very difficult calls already.

    He's got it wrong sometimes and he's learning.

    BUT - he's one of our own and he deserves our support. There are lots of good comments and suggestions on here and elsewhere. I'm sure he reads it all and thinks hard about the job. I'm sure he's had some sleepless nights already.

    NH is our best hope and without him - then what??

    Let's stick with him and give him support.

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  • September 9, 2015 at 14:25
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    I think the first few games have been a real learning curve for everybody. Forde a fine keeper needs a change of scene and can come again but for a different team
    We have found the best CB combination in Beevers and Sid
    That even a rusty Carlos looked a lot better than Cummings
    That Craig despite me really wanting him to be much improved is still a pretty average CB and LB that offers little going forward
    That Williams looks good in a 3 and the game seems to pass him by in a 2 man midfield
    Jimmy is still a legend and the little fella Thompson can follow in his shoes
    That Gregory is clearly not upto league football and needs to go back to bullying non-league defenders where he can actually score
    That in Fred that we have an absolute diamond and that a 3 up front of him Morro and AOB can start scoring goals
    That with Jimmy and Ben holding we need to make sure that the FB play an attacking style to get some crosses in Carlos showed that with his assist against the Posh and Ferguson prior to getting injured.

    In Harris I trust, a clever man who will learn and who has Wall in his heart!!

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  • September 9, 2015 at 14:27
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    I wish I could read his mind and we'll see what Saturday brings. My guess is-
    Archer in goal- Can't see him being dropped and it took guts to drop Forde which should have happened months ago.
    Edwards a cert.
    Is Craig a better left back or centre half? Personally I'd leave him on the bench but as he's captain that's not going to happen so he starts too.
    Midfield-Fred and Abdou for sure. The other ones? Not sure.
    Up front-Morison a cert with one other. O'Brien/Pavey? Think he'll put Gregory on the bench. Should loan out Marquis for the rest of the season. O'Brien looks a lot better to me.

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  • September 9, 2015 at 14:54
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    I say give Pavey a shot up front, can't do any worse in my opinion?

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  • September 9, 2015 at 15:52
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    If coco wrote that.( which i'am sure he once did).fans on here would be slating him something rotten.and rightly so...
    close season we chopped the size of the squad and got in 3 new faces and one old one...so there should be no problem..perhaps its me but i just cant see why this old carrot as come up again..

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  • September 9, 2015 at 16:05
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    let's wait & see after the Crewe game then we can c if Neil's getting there. Coyl

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  • September 9, 2015 at 16:11
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    Kevin Nolan released. Does anyone think he might be worth a punt.?

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    • September 9, 2015 at 16:24
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      @NPEgentlemansclub: I saw that yesterday. Currently training with Orient but unattached. Definitely worth a punt IF wages don't prove a stumbling block... Think he was on a fair old wedge at WH... Couldn't care less he played there. The bloke is a midfield general (Which we are sorely missing), highly experience with Champ and Prem campaigns under his belt and would really help our young players like Powell and Thompson.

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      • September 9, 2015 at 16:33
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        @Bexley_Lion: Definitely a long shot. His wages at us probably wouldn't pay for his takeaways down Brick lane but as the saying goes, nothing ventured, nothing gained.

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  • September 9, 2015 at 16:26
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    I said before the season started that we need to see where we are at the end of September.
    10 games - 5 at Home and 5 Away.
    At the time I was hoping we would be in the top half of the table.
    As it is and the way it is going it looks like we will be lucky to be out of the bottom 4 ?
    To me the next 4 games are vital.
    Away to bottom Club - Crewe and then Port Vale.
    Then successive Home games v Southend and Rochdale.
    If these games go t**s up then we will certainly be near bottom (if not bottom) of the League.

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  • September 9, 2015 at 17:16
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    any developments regarding Kyle Spense? anybody seen him play?

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  • September 9, 2015 at 17:30
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    Kevin Nolan....no thanks.I remember when we were like the WH knackers home......on a serious note I really don't think the wages we could offer would temp him....and I can't stand the bloke....

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  • September 9, 2015 at 17:54
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    Nolan will only come if big Sam takes over.

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  • September 9, 2015 at 21:07
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    Imo the team is settling at the moment on, Archer, Carlos, Sid, Beevers & TC, the front 3, Moro, AOB & Fred, the 3 in MF, Ben & Jimmy I think are in front of Powell, Williams just in front of Upson although Upson looked to have had a good game on Tuesday night, still think Upson will come good for us just needs a good goal scoring game, win at Crewe, draw at PV, beat Sothend

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  • September 9, 2015 at 23:29
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    Thierry Henri the former striker of Arsenal who wishes to become a club manager has been told by Arsene Wenger that he would have "to undergo a psychological and mental transformation", if he wants to succeed. Wenger told him that coaching a team is very different from being a footballer. "The job of a player is centred on you, and the job of a coach is centred on others. It is not always easy." I think the same must apply to Neil Harris, he has been given a very difficult task. Good players do not always make good managers, Kevin Keegan found that out as did Glen Hoddle and others. Time will tell.

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  • September 10, 2015 at 01:38
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    Following the game last Tuesday, I thought our defense looked quite solid and organised. Carlos generated an element of calm within the team, and I thought Williams and Upson improved hugely.

    I would like to see Morison up front Saturday with AOB, he has a good energy and when receiving the ball, is always looking to go forward. I like Lee Gregory, at times he can be a clinical finisher and believe he just needs some confidence. So coming off the bench has seen an improvement in his performance of late, which can only be good for all of us.

    On another note, I had a brief chat with Tim Cahill last week as he is down under at present playing for Aus, when asked if he would get the boots on and come back to den, he responded, ''one day''.......

    Would he come back?

    Anyway, my team for Crewe listed below.

    Archer
    Edwards
    Beevers
    Nelson
    Craig
    Upson
    Thompson
    Williams
    Fred
    AOB
    Morison

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  • September 10, 2015 at 09:14
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    why is no one picking ferguson and how long b4 kris twarderk comes back he had a very good pre season

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