Millwall to get back to basics for Rochdale clash

MILLWALL boss Neil Harris wants his side to start doing the "dirty things" well ahead of the visit of Rochdale to The Den this weekend.

The Lions lost 3-1 to Southend last weekend, their seventh game without a clean sheet in League One since the opening day when they defeated Oldham 3-0.

After Saturday’s game, and before he spoke to the media, Harris examined the video of the three goals and the tackles involving Joe Martin that led to the full-back’s 40th-minute substitution when he was in danger of picking up a second booking.

Harris said: “I was looking at the incidents with Joe in case I needed to speak to the referee. I just wanted to look at the major incidents before being asked questions because you don’t want to look stupid and say the wrong thing about somebody and get it wrong.

“My opinion having watched it again was Joe needed to come off, he should have been sent off in open play. He was lucky to stay on the park.

“The goals were poor goals. Not just the goals but the lead-up to them, we didn’t do the dirty things well enough.

“Peterborough was a bad day at the office, tactically we probably got it wrong and caught them on a good day and gave some poor goals away. On Saturday, I just thought we didn’t do the basics very well and that doesn’t happen too often for us as a club. It hasn’t happened very often to any of my teams.

“We didn’t stand up to the physical battle at times. Southend looked really hungry for second balls. We gave the ball away cheaply in our own half which put the pressure on because they just turned the ball behind us and got throw-ins and corners. And the goals ultimately came from balls into the box.

“That was a problem for us on Saturday, I didn’t feel we were aggressive enough in our approach. I didn’t feel we were composed enough to clear our lines and I don’t think we organised and communicated enough as a group to deal with picking up their men and deal with balls in the box.”

Image source: ©Millwall FC

John Kelly