Millwall's Martin asked to play despite shoulder pain

MILLWALL boss Neil Harris admitted his side weren’t at their best in the 1-1 draw with Bradford on Saturday afternoon.  

The Lions had to come from a goal behind against Stuart McCall’s side after a Byron Webster own goal in the 42nd minute.

Joe Martin equalised in the 49th minute with his fourth goal for the club when he beat Colin Doyle with a low shot from the edge of the area.

Substitute Fred Onyedinma was denied by Stephen Darby’s last-ditch tackle in the box with 10 minutes left before a mistake by Mahlon Romeo handed Nicky Law a chance to win it with the last attack, but Jordan Archer tipped the ball onto the post before diving on the rebound.

Harris felt the consequences of nine games in less than a month were evident against the Bantams.

He said: “I wouldn’t say we were off the pace but I thought we were very reactive rather than proactive in the first half.

“I thought there were too many players who looked like they’d had a long month. We didn’t get into positions quicker.

“We were reactive but having said that we could have scored a couple of goals and we were unfortunate with the own goal.

“In possession I thought we were wasteful. In the second half I thought we were slightly better but still not up to our standards. If we had been up to our standards we would have got three points.”

Harris also revealed Martin was struggling with the shoulder injury he picked up at Chesterfield last Saturday.

“Joe’s got a really dodgy shoulder, he’s had to have treatment and all sorts to get himself out on the pitch today,” Harris said.

“I don’t always praise individuals after a game but he certainly deserved it because until yesterday morning he wasn’t in contention.

“But he said to me he wanted to play, he was ready to play. He’s in a lot of agony now but it shows the man’s character and professionalism.

“He asked to train the day before to be in contention, he knew that and he wanted to train yesterday morning.

“He did the bare minimum to get through the session and then turned up today and I asked him if he was ready and he said, ‘Yes, I want to play.’ As a manger that’s brilliant.”

Image source: ©Charlie Compitus

John Kelly