NEIL Harris praised the supporters who made the trip to Port Vale last night – and then vowed he would be pushing his players to give a similar performance at The Den this Saturday.
Millwall’s re-scheduled fixture at Vale Park meant a second long trip in four days for Lions fans.
But they were rewarded when goals from Mark Beevers and Lee Gregory made it six points from two tricky away ties.
Two hundred and ten fans made the journey north, and Harris took the time to show his appreciation for them after the game on Tuesday night.
“I bet that's 210 that went to Crewe also,” he said. “We can’t ask for any more, it’s phenomenal. The noise they made in this big ground, outnumbered, is great and you can see the link to the players.
“I talked a lot last year about link between the players and the fans. It’s hard because the fans are desperate to support us and they’re trying to stick with us.
“On the road they come because they know what they are going to get. Whether they get that at home… we got the win we wanted against Peterborough and we’ve got to build on that on Saturday.
“We’re under no illusions. Eight or nine thousand are going to show up on Saturday now expecting a Millwall performance.
“And I’ll put the pressure on my players now to say they’ve got to perform. But during the season we’ll play like that at The Den.”
The Millwall boss was also pleased with how his defence responded in the second half at Vale Park when Rob Page’s side started to mount some pressure after somehow surviving a first half during which their away opponents spurned numerous goalscoring opportunities.
Harris said: “Mark Beevers’ goal comes from the tackle he makes on the 18-yard line just before. We’ve run the length of the pitch and then he heads it in the net.
“That’s top 6ft 4ins centre-half stuff. Byron Webster was also excellent, I thought as a pairing they were excellent.
“I think the defensive work we did during the international break has helped. I think the camaraderie and spirit in the group is a help, especially when you’re defending away from home.
“They make me proud when they defend like they did in the 88th minute as well as playing the untouchable football they played in the first 30.
“They’re pushing each other. Byron has come in because Sid (Nelson) was unfit, unfortunately for him because he’s been excellent.
“But Byron comes in and keeps to the standard being set by everybody else. When you’ve got competition for places that’s the standard you can demand.”