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Millwall boss identifies Sheffield Wednesday threat

MILLWALL manager Neil Harris has sympathy for Sheffield Wednesday after successive play-off heartaches – but believes they have the quality to rank among the “top two or three sides” in this season’s Championship.

The Owls lost to Hull City in the 2016 Championship play-off final before bowing out at the semi-final stage a year later against Huddersfield Town.

Carlos Carvalhal’s side are currently struggling to live up to their pre-season billing as one of the promotion favourites, Saturday’s 1-1 draw at home to Barnsley leaving them without a win in three games and behind Millwall on goal difference.

Harris knows what it’s like to lose a play-off final after defeat to the Tykes in 2016, before the Lions clinched promotion last season by beating Bradford at Wembley.

“It’s tough to bounce back after play-off disappointment. However, when you’ve got a good squad then I firmly believe that the cream rises to the top,” Harris said.

“At present, Sheffield Wednesday are behind us in the division but they’re only five points off the play-offs.

“We’re fully aware of the task that faces us. I look at it and see that they’ve got an extremely talented group of players and players in the final third that can hurt you. When you look at Gary Hooper, Steven Fletcher, Fernando Forestieri, Jordan Rhodes, Lucas Joao, Atdhe Nuhiu – you’re talking about six players straight off that would grace any Championship squad.

“That’s the task that faces us. When they’re at it they’re a handful and certainly one of the top two or three sides in the division. So we take nothing for granted that we have a bit of momentum and they haven’t.

“It doesn’t mean anything tomorrow night. When you go to Hillsborough you have to embrace being there, enjoy it and rise to the occasion because it’s a great football stadium. If you don’t you can get swallowed up.

“My players will be right at it Tuesday night.”

Image: Millwall FC 

John Kelly

(@jkelly1882)