Harris says Millwall need to do more to inspire fans

© Millwall FC
© Millwall FC

NEIL Harris admits that Millwall haven’t done enough to put the “fire in the bellies” of fans at The Den this season.

Millwall have lost seven league games at home in 2015-16, in contrast to their form on the road where they have won nine of their 16 Sky Bet League One games and drawn three.

The last time the Lions recorded double figures for home wins was in their first season back in the Championship in 2010-11 when they won 12 times at The Den.

They followed that with seven in 2011-12, eight the next season, six in 2013-14 and five as they were relegated to the third tier last season.

On Tuesday night Scunthorpe became the latest side to inflict defeat on Millwall at SE16, winning 2-0 through goals from Gary McSheffrey and Jim O’Brien.

Harris recognises that form isn’t good enough, and admitted he knew it wouldn’t be easy to correct it this season.

Harris said: “What comes first? A passionate opening to the game and the fans get behind the team and stay behind the team, or is a set of supporters that come in a real positive frame of mind and get the players at it if they’re not at it?

“It’s a bit of both, I think.

“It’s my job to try and find that passion in the players and the supporters. It’s my responsibility as a manger to get the fanbase to turn up and want to see their football team play. I think such a large number of supporters travel to away games because they have that hunger to see their team. Maybe at home this season we haven’t quite put that fire in the bellies of the supporters yet.

“When I took the job I wasn’t crazy enough to think it could happen overnight. I wanted it to happen overnight, but it’s going to take time.

“I have a lot to learn about team selection and style of play. We will get it as a group, and we’ve had it at times this season, but we are going to learn. All I will say is the players will give their all for this football club. Anyone I put on the pitch will give their all, me included on the sideline.

“I think our loyal supporters know that, that’s the main ingredient and the starting point.

“After that then individual performances and team performances will slowly rekindle the spirit in the fanbase.”

John Kelly