MILLWALL boss Neil Harris felt his side showed a “killer instinct” in the 3-1 win over Port Vale that was lacking against Oxford last week.
The Lions were 3-0 up against their League One rivals before half-time and though they missed chances to add more goals in the second period they still ran out comfortable winners.
Harris picked an attacking side against Port Vale in Sunday's clash, with Shane Ferguson starting at left-back in place of Joe Martin and Aiden O’Brien restored to the left side of midfield.
Millwall started as if they had a point to prove as they immediately put pressure on the Port Vale defence with the type of incisive attacking and accurate passing in the final third that was absent against Oxford.
Lee Gregory and Steve Morison set the tone up front, and Millwall’s positive approach paid off when Gregory got his 12th and 13th goals of the season and Morison his 10th to ensure the gap to Peterborough in sixth place was cut to a point.
“I think we had real attacking intent in the team selection and the team itself, but I’m sure the shot count is a lot lower than it was on Thursday night,” Harris said.
“We had 11 clear-cut open chances to score goals (against Oxford) and didn’t take them and, on reflection, that was the difference between Thursday evening and (Sunday). We had the killer instinct. The front players showed real quality in and around the penalty area.
“I asked the players to express themselves and enjoy themselves a little bit and they certainly did that.
“We were disappointed on Thursday night but we should have won the game with the chances we created.”
Harris also described the positive atmosphere among the management and squad leading up to the game despite that Johnstone’s Paint Trophy setback.
“We don’t come in doom and gloom,” he said. “I don’t have that at the training ground and I don’t have that (at The Den).
“The thought process today after (Saturday’s) results was, ‘A win puts us right in the mix, one point off and building momentum from the last league game at Oldham’.
“For the boys this was an opportunity to go and play, we gave them a little bit of freedom to go and express themselves. I thought the first half in particular and some of the play in the second half, one-touch football, was excellent.
“But I think the finishing and the delivery in the box was top drawer.”