Harris issues challenge to Millwall to repeat show at Barnsley

© Millwall FC
© Millwall FC

MILLWALL boss Neil Harris has challenged his players to repeat the performance they gave in the 4-0 win over Southend on Monday in their next league game, at Barnsley next Saturday.

The Lions responded in perfect fashion to the 1-0 setback at The Den against Walsall last weekend to stop a run of three successive league defeats.

Harris saw his side produce arguably their most emphatic performance of the season at Roots Hall, all the more impressive considering the Blues were on an eight-game unbeaten run in the league and Millwall had won just once in December – against the same opposition in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy three weeks ago.

There were a number of eye-catching displays on the Millwall side as goals from full-backs Joe Martin and Shaun Cummings and attackers Fred Onyedinma and Aiden O’Brien lifted their side briefly into eighth place in Sky Bet League One before the later kick-offs.

And Harris was eager to share the praise around the team.

“I thought everybody was outstanding on the football pitch (Monday),” he said. “Everybody was outstanding and performed really well. We completely dominated from the first whistle to the last and the moments when they did get opportunities in and around the box through good play we stood strong.

“I thought the whole back four performed outstandingly well. Our shape was excellent, as it was on Saturday against Walsall for the majority of it.

“To come off the back of a defeat at home and come here two days later and put in that performance is a credit to the group. That’s the standard, that’s the demand, that’s my standards.

“And I just said to them there’s no point doing that now and not doing it at Barnsley. They’ve got to achieve that again.”

Harris lives in Southend with his family, but, as he did after the JPT win, he stressed this latest success in his hometown was an important squad statement rather than a personal one.

“It’s nice having so many friends and family at the game,” he admitted. “But as I said all along it’s not about me coming back here – it’s about my team and how they perform.

“We played against a really good Southend team on a roll with a little bit of momentum. And I thought from the moment we scored the first goal we completely dominated the game."

And he joked: “There are a few people who won’t be happy but my kids can go to school with their heads held high!”

John Kelly