Millwall's Harris: It was a "quality" strike from Thompson

© Millwall FC
© Millwall FC

NEIL Harris hailed Ben Thompson's goal against Shrewsbury on Saturday as Millwall came from behind to further cement their place in League One's top six.

Thompson controlled the ball on the edge of the box in the 57th minute before firing a half-volley past Shrews goalkeeper Mark Halstead.

It was Thompson's second goal of the season before Steve Morison and Lee Gregory sealed the three points for the Lions.

"It was quality, the boy's got the ability to score goals from distance," Millwall boss Harris said. "I've seen him do it through the age groups – 16s, 18s, 21s, he's done it.

"He does it a lot in training. Shaun Williams also has the ability to do it and it's something I've spoken about, that we need to score goals from all over the park. I think Ben was due one. I'm delighted with that strike, but delighted also that my two strikers scored again."

Millwall were sluggish before the break as they trailed to Larnell Cole's fifth-minute opener. Harris brought Aiden O'Brien on for Joe Martin at half-time and Millwall produced a much-improved effort in the second half to climb up to fourth in the table.

"It's the players that did it," Harris said. "The first thing we did in the second half, Chris Taylor and Aiden O'Brien got down to the corner flag and won a couple of throw-ins. It's important then that you just put the opposition on the back foot.

"I think the biggest thing was our movement and use of the ball was much better in the second half. And it was enjoyable to watch as a manager, to be honest."

Millwall are now seven points ahead of seventh-placed Barnsley as it looks increasingly likely they will be extending their season beyond May 8.

The Lions were 11th in the League One table when they lost to Walsall on Boxing Day, six points outside the play-off places.

But they have lost just three times in the league since then and are not yet out of the race to finish second, with Burton faltering slightly recently.

And Harris believes that momentum could be a crucial factor in deciding where the Lions finish in the league.

"We all look at the league table and who's playing who, but for me and the group we just focus on the opposition next Saturday," Harris said. "Yes, we evaluate (the Shrewsbury match). I certainly look at myself first and the team performance. But we do that quickly and then from Monday we focus on Coventry and beating them.

"We've come from a long way back before Christmas and we've got ourselves into a good position. Sometimes when you've come from further back it's quite easy to look to get higher. If you're at the top and fall away it becomes really difficult. If you've come from where we have, it's not that it's easy, but it's a little bit easier (to keep the momentum)."

John Kelly