International break proves invaluable for Millwall manager

© Millwall FC
© Millwall FC

MILLWALL have made the most of the international break and feel re-energised heading into the final seven games of the season, according to Neil Harris.

Harris organised extra training sessions for his players following their 2-2 draw with Brentford, taking advantage of the fact the Lions did not have a game last weekend.

The Lions face Charlton at The Den tomorrow in a derby clash which has taken on even greater significance because of their desperate need for points.

And Harris says his side will be well-prepared after a productive ten days on the training ground.

He said: "This time has been really important because it has given us a chance to reemphasise standards and a tempo to training, and to get more work into the boys.

"A couple of the lads that have been playing a lot or needed to go home – the players from overseas – have been able to fly out and spend some time with their families.

"We've been really careful about not working too hard but the boys do understand where we are at and what we're trying to achieve."

With additional time on his hands, Harris was able to mix up training methods.

"We've been able to do some extra video work," he explained.

"But the way I like to do things is not a case of I'm talking, the players are listening, I like a real interaction to give me an understanding of how the players are thinking and how they like to play.

"There has to be that element of trust because this is a team of men with a lot of football knowledge – you’ve got to listen to their thoughts as well.

"There has to be that and it's been really productive. It's not necessarily been a case of nailing down tactics because you can get your thoughts across in various forms.

"Some of it was video work, some of it was in different styles of play and some of it was in game scenarios.

"Sometimes the boys enjoy that a lot more than standing around while I'm talking stop-start all the time.

"It's nice to let them get on with it and address things as and when needed. It's been great to see the work ethic of the players because they've really trained hard."

Millwall will need a huge number of wins from their remaining seven games but Harris is not viewing the run-in as a mini-season.

"We've not spoken about a seven-game season or anything like that, we're purely focused on the next game," he added.

"Because we don't have a game on Monday we really are focused on one fixture – we haven't got to focus on two games in two days, so we won't be looking beyond Charlton.

"There were three games in my first week and we aimed to see an improvement in each match, but now it's all about one game. That's our only thought at the moment."

Unlike most of their Championship rivals, the Lions do not have a game on Easter Monday owing to Blackburn Rovers' involvement in the FA Cup.

But Harris is unsure if that is a good or a bad thing.

"We'll find out on Friday whether we'd want to play again on Monday or not," he said.

"After Brentford we were desperate to play again because the boys knew how well they'd done and they wanted to go again.

"There was disappointment for a couple of days but once it was pointed out how close they were to beating a top team, the lads wanted to go again.

"That shows the mindset of the players at the moment and, long-term, that's what we want – players who are committed and want to play every week.

"Having a hunger and desire to play for this club is really important."



2 thoughts on “International break proves invaluable for Millwall manager

  • April 2, 2015 at 19:01

    He talking so much sense COYL prove it now it millwall time 7 games left we can do it let stick together and let show everyone who we are milllllllllllllllll

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  • April 3, 2015 at 11:20

    Win today and the whole place will be rocking and the players would want more of it , they haven't seen the den rock yet and it will give them 100% more confedence for the next six games after this one . Coyl

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