Harris: Millwall were outstanding from first whistle to last

© Millwall FC
© Millwall FC

NEIL Harris revealed after Monday afternoon’s 4-0 rout of Southend that it was pre-planned to make changes from the side that lost to Walsall on Saturday.

The Millwall boss made four alterations to his starting line-up for the Roots Hall clash, and it paid dividends as Millwall raced into a 3-0 half-time lead.

Jimmy Abdou was left on the bench, with George Saville taking his place in midfield. Shaun Cummings and Byron Webster replaced Carlos Edwards and Sid Nelson, while Ed Upson started on the left of midfield with Shane Ferguson among the substitutes.

After Joe Martin, Shaun Cummings and Fred Onyedinma had put Millwall into a commanding position, Aiden O’Brien added a fourth goal in the second half to decorate an utterly dominant performance.

And Harris felt the added freshness gave his side the edge in their second game in less than 48 hours.

“We’d four changes and I think it was important for us,” Harrris said. “We had a really tough game against Walsall, we didn’t have a whole lot of the ball and we had to do a lot of pressing.

“We always had two teams in the back of our minds, and I’m sure Phil (Brown) would have had as well but it’s difficult to change a winning side.

“We knew some players couldn’t go again, some coming back from injury. Jimmy Abdou ran the furthest any player has run for the club this season on Saturday against Walsall so naturally he needs a rest.

“With our small squad and a couple of others we were minding it wasn’t possible to (name unchanged sides). I think the fresh legs certainly helped us and the fact that Joe Martin and Fred came off in the second half on Saturday also gave us that freshness.”

Harris was also pleased his side didn't concede for the first time in four league games.

He said: “I’m delighted for our goalscorers but equally delighted that we kept a clean sheet.

“They’ve got a real good group here. They’ve come off the back of a win against Colchester. We knew it was going to be tough.

“But I said to the guys, ‘for the first 15 minutes it’s about us’. And we were outstanding from the first whistle to the last.

“Even when Southend did get their opportunities and shots in and around the penalty area I thought our desire to block and keep a clean sheet was phenomenal.”

John Kelly