Harris praises Morison after striker knocks out Gills

NEIL Harris hailed the impact of Steve Morison after the veteran striker came off the bench to fire Millwall into the next round of the EFL Trophy.

Millwall went a goal behind for the seventh consecutive game when Josh Wright put Gillingham in front from close range in the 17th minute.

Fred Onyedinma equalised in added time at the end of the first half before the home side dominated the second period after the introduction of Morison at the break.

Morison produced a brilliant flick and low finish for the winner two minutes from time to send Millwall into the last group game against Luton having already qualified and now contesting top spot.

“He showed his quality after a little barren run where he hadn’t scored for a few games,” Harris said. “As a goal scorer he likes to score goals, and he showed his quality there.

“He showed his impact off the bench. He’s a talisman at the football club and is an important part of our team and our squad.

“He’s not getting any younger so maybe there has to be an element of him starting to come off the bench at times and making an impact like that because he really does lift everybody when he does come on.”

Harris changed formation for the clash with the Gills to give Calum Butcher and Gregg Wylde the chance to impress, but he felt Millwall were more comfortable when they reverted to their usual formation.

Harris said: “There was a significant improvement when I changed the shape back to 4-4-2 on 40 minutes.

“We had certain personnel available and others not available because of injury and other reasons. I wanted to give people an opportunity, we’ve had some new players in like Gregg and Butch, they've come in and tried to learn a different shape to what they’ve been playing.

“I thought with the players I wanted to have a look at tonight, a 4-3-3 or 4-1-4-1 was the best way to go to make people feel comfortable. But I don’t think it particularly suited us, we probably didn’t have enough time on the training ground to make it work properly and I’m not sure it was right against Gillingham’s 3-5-2 formation.

“Having said that I thought when we went back to basics we were really good. It wasn’t always pretty but I thought we competed well and showed a desire to win the game.

“Both teams showed a desire to win the game, but you saw a bit of nervousness before confidence grew in the group in the second half at times.

“And I’m delighted for my players that they broke a losing run.”

Image source: ©Charlie Compitus

John Kelly