Millwall's Harris: We have to be on top of our game tonight

© Millwall FC
© Millwall FC

NEIL Harris says his side need to be at their best to get a result tonight at Wigan, who have yet to lose at home in the league this season.

Millwall bring one of the best away records in the Football League to the DW Stadium knowing a win would lift them above their promotion rivals.

Gary Caldwell’s Wigan made a poor start to the season but, like Harris’ side, have begun to show their best form recently.

And the Lions boss sees a lot of parallels between the two clubs, both of whom were relegated from the Championship last season.

“Gary is similar to myself and the club really,” Harris said. “He’s a young manager, they’re in transition as well in terms of players. He’s got a big squad there, spent some money over the summer and brought a lot of new players in. They’re in a rebuilding process also.

“It’s going to be a good game, it’ll be a tough game. It’s a challenge, they’ve got a good home record, but we’ve got a good away record so we’re confident.

“But to get a positive result we’ve got to be on top of our game.”

Millwall have won four out of five games in September and Harris took pleasure from the fact that Lions supporters left The Den at the weekend after the 3-1 defeat of Rochdale having witnessed a first home win in the league on a Saturday in 11 months.

He said: “Not just the players and staff but a lot of supporters would have woken up (Monday) morning happy.

“I hadn’t realised it had been so long since our last home win on a Saturday. The games are coming thick and fast. We enjoyed Saturday, it was a good performance, we got some good goals and we’re on a good run.

“We’re confident, we’ve got momentum and we’re very respectful of Wigan but we’re focused 100 percent on what’s coming up for us.

“I enjoyed the whole game. For me as a manager it’s great when you’re going well. When you’re not going so well, when you’re on the back foot, then you have the challenge of either trusting your players in what we’re doing or adjusting and making a change to the shape of the team or the personnel.

“And they’re the enjoyable moments as a coach on the sidelines, so I thoroughly enjoyed it, I think the players enjoyed it, and certainly the 8,000 fans that were there enjoyed it.”

Key to the victory over Keith Hill’s side was the continuing understanding evident in the link-up play between strikers Aiden O’Brien and Steve Morison who combined for the third goal. And Harris praised both for their roles in the win.

“I thought Steve was excellent,” Harris said. “The goal was class, it was a great finish. He showed great composure but I thought his all-round game was really good and he was a real handful.

“Aiden O’Brien was very accomplished, very unselfish in that role and three assists speaks volumes. The whole team was excellent. Some catch the eye more than others and some just go about their jobs in a workmanlike fashion.”

Meanwhile the Millwall boss had the luxury of being able to rest Fred Onyedinma – who has featured in every game so far this season – for the last half hour when he sent on Ed Upson in his place.

Harris is wary of pushing his young winger but is satisfied that he has the strength and depth in his squad should he choose to make changes for the trip to Wigan.

“We have to respectful of Fred’s age, but I keep asking him to go and go again. He has a huge future for the club, he has a huge career ahead but he is a young boy that plays for the minute because of his age and has highs and lows in the game.

“Defensively, in his position and for his age, he is really knowledgeable. One minute he’s a livewire and setting the world alight and the next minute he’s giving the ball away, and I accept that.

“Eight to ten thousand people are starting to accept it as well and that’s going to be the way it is. In that position he is all about explosiveness, so being able to bring him off and bring Ed Upson on, who has done really well for us in recent weeks, was a nice bonus for me.

“I’ve certainly got the options to change personnel if I want to. I’ll monitor the squad and consider utilising the squad.

“We’re thinking about how we’re going to approach the game and we’ve been drip-feeding that to the players. At the hotel we will really focus on the gameplan and executing it (tonight).

John Kelly

(@jkelly1882)

12 thoughts on “Millwall's Harris: We have to be on top of our game tonight

  • September 29, 2015 at 08:39
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    Yep best away form and got a good record over the past 2 seasons at the DW..a win should be ours but a draw would also be nice....mmiillllllllll

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    • September 29, 2015 at 09:01
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      @Jim28:

      Exactly Jim as we've got that monkey off our back at long last, expecting three points tonight as we're on fire away from home but would happily settle for a point.

      COYL

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      • September 29, 2015 at 09:53
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        Tough one mukka but i think we might just nick a result too.
        Think 4 of our next 5 league games are away so we need to keep that form going..

        Would take a draw
        COYL.

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  • September 29, 2015 at 09:43
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    Mix it up against this lot and go 4-5-1. Wigan still like to move the ball about the park, so flood the midfield, compete and build-up attacks. Upson can be the link-up man in midfield but O'Brien has been playing excellent... Decisions for the gaffer but good ones

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