Harris: No Millwall blame culture – only honesty and respect

© Millwall FC
© Millwall FC

THE Millwall squad were back at their training ground on Calmont Road on Sunday morning to reflect on Saturday’s shock 2-1 FA Cup defeat to Wycombe.

Michael Harriman’s late winner saw the Lions knocked out of a second cup competition this season against League Two opponents after Barnet won 2-1 at The Den in the League Cup in August.

Manager Neil Harris revealed there were some harsh words spoken in the dressing room immediately after the defeat to Gareth Ainsworth's side, but he said he was pleased with the response he got from his players as they prepare for the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy southern section semi-final at Southend on Tuesday night.

“I asked them after the game (about the performance),” Harris said. “Some of the senior players spoke, there were some one-word answers, which was interesting and honest. I’ve been on record as saying before that we don’t have a blame culture. We have accountability and honesty and respect.

“If players put their hand up after the game and say, ‘I was poor, I made a mistake’, that’s fine, great, but don’t make the same mistake again, that’s all I ask. So no blame culture, just honesty from me, praise when it’s really good and learn from it when it’s not so good.

“I was frustrated after Fleetwood because in my opinion we didn’t compete in the game.

“Saturday, I was frustrated because I thought they played the cup tie more aggressively than we did. The way we played frustrated me because going forward we were as poor as we’ve been this season.

“I was disappointed because I thought our front four players didn’t use the ball at all.

“But I got a big response from the players yesterday morning, collectively and individually. Me and my staff had watched the game back by the time they came in. We evaluated it, and ourselves, and the players.

“When they came in I shared my opinions with them, constructively. I told them exactly what I expect of them moving forward. I spoke to the attacking unit as a group and the feedback, the focus and discipline was brilliant.

“It was a good morning yesterday, and it leaves us fresh and bright and focused for tomorrow night.”

Meanwhile, midfielder Jimmy Abdou, who made his return to a senior matchday squad for the first time in two months on Saturday, will feature for the U21s today when Justin Skinner’s side face Brentford at The Den.

The game kicks off at 2pm.

John Kelly