DESPITE their poor recent run of results Millwall are a much-improved side since the start of the season, according to boss Neil Harris.
The Lions have lost four of their last six fixtures in all competitions and fell further back from the Sky Bet League One top six after the 3-0 defeat to Gillingham last weekend.
It is the second significant slump this season, mirroring the opening month when they were also beaten four times in six games.
The Lions face high-flying Walsall on Saturday as they attempt to get back on track, and Harris says they will continue to work hard to turn around their form and reignite their promotion hopes.
“We just have to keep doing what we are doing and trying to improve, it’s about how far we have gone and it takes small steps,” he said. “Gillingham was a setback, but I certainly have faith in the players that they're getting better.
“Look how far we have come from the first few weeks of the season. That’s the frustration – at times we have shown how good we are and what ability we have in the group.
“We’ve shown a frailty about us to concede poor goals. We are trying to change a whole mentality of a football club. We take small steps and then you get knocked down to the ground like Gillingham did to us.
“It gives us a realisation of how far we have to travel before becoming a really good team.
“The fans have been great and they have really enjoyed watching their team at The Den, certainly in the last eight or nine games.
“We have been exciting and we have scored goals. We are playing with attacking players on the pitch. We have been beaten but we are a team that will have a real go. When you do well, you raise expectations, me included. And when we get hit for six like against Gillingham it’s like a flatness to everything.”
Meanwhile, Harris is pleased that Jamie Philpot will be available in the New Year. The striker scored on his debut for Millwall in their 4-2 defeat to Wolves in May but his progress has been disrupted by two long-term injuries since then.
“Competition for places is getting stronger,” Harris said. “Jamie Philpot is back in the training group, which is good. He’s another young man with huge potential. It'll be great to have him back in the group after Christmas.
“You need players that are going to be in form and certainly players that are going to be fit.”