Harris: Millwall stronger now than a year ago

MILLWALL boss Neil Harris is pleased with how his squad are shaping up for the start of the League One season after an impressive performance in the 1-1 draw with Championship Brentford at The Den on Saturday. 

Yoann Barbet put Brentford ahead in the sixth minute when he clipped a free-kick over the wall and beyond Jordan Archer into the bottom corner, but Steve Morison equalised in the 28th minute when he headed Shaun Williams' cross past Dan Bentley.

Brentford should have been two goals ahead by then but Scott Hogan dragged a shot wide from a good position and then Archer had to make two saves in as many seconds to deny Sam Saunders before flinging himself at Hogan’s follow-up.

Millwall eventually wrested control from their opponents and created more clear-cut chances to win the game, the best when David Worrall found himself through one-on-one against Bentley with Lee Gregory in support to his right, but the winger shanked his effort wide.

The Lions dominated the majority of the second half against a side that finished ninth in the Championship last season, but Harris wasn’t getting carried away ahead of the opening League One fixture of the season against Oldham at The Den next Saturday.

“I thought the first 20 minutes they were better than us,” Harris admitted. “We came into the game after that and we were outstanding at times. Our shape was really good.

“You know there are times when a top-eight Championship side are going to play through you and create the odd chance. But we showed our resolve and that if they do get through our goalkeeper was on top form and there was some really good defending in and around the box.

“After the first 20 minutes we grew into the game and trusted our shape and they found it really difficult to break us down, to get the ball from box to box.

“I lost count of the amount of times we regained the ball and should have scored a goal. I was delighted that some of the individual performances were really good but more delighted that we looked fit and we looked strong and took up good positions with the ball the majority of the time.

“Naturally we should be in better shape now and I know a lot more about my players now than I did this time last year, that’s for sure.

“We had a good performance but we’re not going to get carried away and assume that’ll inspire a good performance next week and so on. We have to earn the right in every game to get a foothold.”

Image source ©Millwall FC

John Kelly