Harris: Teams enjoyed The Den earlier this season – not now

© Millwall FC
© Millwall FC

NEIL HARRIS admitted opposition teams were “enjoying” playing at The Den earlier this season – but said “that’s certainly not the case anymore.”

Byron Webster’s double and Shane Ferguson’s third of the campaign gave Millwall a 3-0 win over Oldham on Saturday, their sixth successive home win.

The result meant Millwall secured their place in the League One play-offs before the trip to Gillingham next weekend.

The Lions started the season with four defeats in a row at home, but they have conceded just one goal in their last seven games at The Den and Harris believes that sends out a strong message before the play-offs.

“Other teams will look at us and see there is momentum at Millwall at the moment,” Harris said. “It’s a team that’s scoring goals, I’m delighted with another clean sheet.

“Six wins in a row at The Den will not necessarily scare teams, but good Millwall teams have been built on solid home form. We had a slow start to the season, especially at The Den, and teams were enjoying coming to play on our pitch.

“That’s certainly not the case anymore.”

Millwall still had a chance to push the race for automatic promotion to the final day with Gillingham looking for a win at Burton to revive their own play-off hopes. However, Burton scored an added-time winner to all but confirm second place, but Harris insisted he wasn’t interested in the results of Millwall’s rivals.

“I’m delighted, the law of averages said we were in there anyway with 75 points,” Harris said. “We didn’t talk about play-off places or automatic promotion at all, we just focussed on winning today.

“The reason we did is because it’s important to win at The Den. That’s six home wins in a row and that’s what we were striving for.

“We always focus on what we can control, and today that was beating Oldham.”

Webster scored his fifth and sixth goals of the season after set-piece deliveries from Chris Taylor and Shane Ferguson, and Harris explained that was a feature of his side’s approach that they have worked on trying to improve this campaign.

Harris said: “We’ve got players with good quality deliveries. It’s something we’ve had to address from the start of the season, scoring more goals from set-pieces.

“We work hard on them. I always say to the boys it’s important that we’re diligent at defensive and attacking set-pieces. They have to focus on everything we do because there’s reward to be had there – clean sheets at one end and goals at the other.

“Byron is a terrific young man who’s been brilliant this year. We talk about individual battles all the time, coming out on top. It’s about desire to score goals and if you have players with the ability of Chris Taylor and Shane Ferguson to put the ball into an area, we say to our players to go and get on the end of it.”

John Kelly