NEIL Harris was encouraged by Millwall's performance against Bolton despite their 2-0 defeat at the Macron Stadium.
Harris was taking charge of the Lions for the first time since being installed as the club's interim manager but Adam Le Fondre's brace gave the hosts victory.
Lee Gregory and Aiden O'Brien both missed one-on-ones as the Lions, despite a much-improved performance, fell to their fifth straight defeat.
But Harris, assessing his managerial debut, said: "There were loads of positives.
"Firstly, I'm disappointed we got beat but the positives were the chances we created, the manner in which we played and the fact we had a right good go in the second half.
"I asked the boys at half time to be disappointed with the scoreline but not despondent or too down because I wanted a big second half from them.
"Barring the fact that we didn't get on the scoresheet, I thought we were certainly the much better team in the second half.
"Adam Le Fondre scores two good goals, whereas Aiden and Lee didn't score.
"The moves to get them in were both really good and they've both hit the target, but obviously at least one of them should be going in the net.
"For most of the game we were the better team and we had the better chances. The fans stayed at the end to clap the players off and that's a huge turning point for the boys."
Harris' first team selection showed four changes from the previous week's 4-1 loss to Norwich, as well as a more straightforward formation.
He added: "We weren't naive enough to think that we could turn up after a couple days' work and be the finished article – anyone that thinks that is a long way off the mark.
"There are going to be grey areas and personnel changes over the coming weeks but 4-4-2 was the way we wanted to play against Bolton.
"There were no preconceived ideas when we started training on Tuesday – I gave the players the opportunity to impress and saw a lot of positives in the group."
Defeat leaves the Lions nine points from safety ahead of Tuesday's home clash with Brighton.
"We're in a difficult position," said Harris. "There are no promises being made about what we're going to do until the end of the season.
"The target is to win a game as quickly as possible and see where it takes us. We can only go one game at a time and try to improve on recent defeats.
"There's been a lot of negativity at the club, mainly because of results.
"Ian Holloway worked his socks off to drag us out of it, it hasn't quite happened and I think the players have felt the negativity on the pitch.
"I've told them to express themselves and play. It's important for the future of the club that we compete and play in the right manner for the next nine games."