Harris: Millwall youngsters can push for first-team chance

NEIL Harris believes the club’s latest batch of young Lions should be inspired by the players that broke into the first team last season.

The likes of Kris Twardek (pictured), Kyron Farrell and Jamie Philpot impressed during the last half hour of the 3-0 friendly win over Dartford at Princes Park on Tuesday night. Manager Harris was thrilled with their performances, but he also identified areas where they can improve.

“I was delighted with the young lads,” said Harris. “When you make wholesale changes it's difficult for the young lads to come on and make a difference, but they did.

“That was Dartford's first team, who play at a really competitive level, so I was delighted with them.

“I saw some really pleasing things. There's a lot of grey areas with them, such as communication, but that's to be expected.

“The young boys should take heart from the ones that pushed through to the first team last season, and the ones on the pitch from 60 minutes onwards have that opportunity this year.”

One young player looking to re-establish himself in the starting XI is Fred Onyedinma.

The pacey attacker was sharp against the Darts and his early goal was followed by an eye-catching display playing up front.

And Harris explained Onyedinma could offer Millwall a different threat this season: “If Fred can be an outstanding striker and an outstanding wide player, then I've got one hell of a footballer.

“It's down to me and my coaching team to develop him as a player in both positions. Aiden (O’Brien) is doing it at the moment and Fred can do it also.

“Different opposition will suit different players. Fred's got blistering pace that will trouble others.

“Last season, when Lee Gregory wasn't available or was struggling with form, I felt like I didn't have another option in attack that could get in behind (defences), so Fred gives us that option going forward.”

Image source ©Millwall FC

Mark Litchfield