NEIL Harris is looking for “a reaction” from his players after two successive league defeats when they play Charlton tonight.
Millwall dominated but lost to bottom-placed Shrewsbury last Saturday week, before matching Scunthorpe for large periods of the game last weekend but losing 3-0.
Harris wants both those experiences to add to his players’ motivation at The Den when they take on their south London rivals.
“Two responses: one from the Shrewsbury game when we should have won and didn’t, so you expect a reaction from that in front of your own fans,” Harris said.
“And then a reaction from Scunthorpe. I don’t buy into, ‘yeah, we were excellent, we were better than Scunthorpe’ – they beat us three-nil. We have to have the reaction from that. It’s easy to ask for a reaction but the 11 players I pick and the subs, they have to do it.
“I just feel there have been a lot of times this year when we’ve been close to getting where we want to be but not quite getting there. We need to make sure we go into the New Year in a healthy position on the verge of where we want to be with the possibility of bringing players in.”
Charlton have yet to win in four matches under Karl Robinson after he replaced the sacked Russell Slade.
But the Addicks are above Millwall in the League One table and Harris believes Robinson will have his side “wound up” for the fixture.
“Karl is an experienced manager at this level, he knows what’s needed,” Harris said. “You read his articles and he’s always honest.
“They’re not playing how he wants to play and he doesn’t have the players to play how he wants to play. He can’t change that until January, but he’s a passionate guy and he’ll have his players wound up for the game. We have to make sure we’re prepared for that."
Harris first win as Millwall boss came in his fourth game, when Jos Hoiveld struck late at The Den in April 2015 after Magaye Gueye have cancelled out Alou Diarra's opener.
“That was an important game because we were fighting at the time and we wanted to give our fans that pride and passion, and we did it," Harris said. "It doesn’t matter what division you’re in, you want to beat your local rival.
“Us, and Charlton, under Russel and Karl, have been a little bit inconsistent. You look for that spark and we’ve had it at times and lost it. We’re looking for it again.
“A home win against your local rivals would certainly give us that momentum going into Christmas.”
Image source: ©Millwall FC