NEIL Harris went back to Roots Hall for the first time as Millwall’s permanent manager since his spell as a player at Southend – but insisted the occasion was not about him.
Harris made more than 50 appearances for Southend, where he lives, between 2011 and 2013 and is still a popular figure at the club.
Millwall are back at the ground on December 28 in their return League One fixture with Phil Brown’s side, and Harris stressed the focus will be the same again.
“I made it clear with everybody it wasn’t about me coming back here, it was about the players,” he said. “And it was about us progressing in the cup.
“When we come back here in the league it will be exactly the same. The only thing that matters is we come here and win the league game.
“I made a very conscious effort that my mind would be set on whatever happened on that football pitch. I think my players’ focus and fitness levels were outstanding, considering the amount of games we’ve had.
“I’m absolutely delighted with them.”
Harris was also pleased with the return to form of midfielder George Saville, who went close to getting a first goal for the club before he set up Shaun Williams for the clinching second.
The Lions boss again emphasised the approach with the young players and the aim to improve them as the season progresses.
“You look at George, you look at Aiden (O’Brien) or Fred (Onyedinma) at times. You talk about Sid (Nelson), Ben (Thompson), Jordan (Archer), they’re all very young men in the modern game. And they’re going to have dips, they’re going to make errors.
“But where we’re at as a club, we don’t mind that. We want to limit the errors and the dips in form but we’re here to help them. And George was back to his best (Tuesday).”