MILLWALL boss Neil Harris said the speculation concerning some of his players before the closure of the transfer window on Wednesday night was “wide of the mark”.
There were reports coming out of Yorkshire on Wednesday morning that Sheffield United were set to test Millwall’s resolve with a bid for Byron Webster, but NewsAtDen was told that wasn’t the case.
Lee Gregory, who was left out of the Lions squad for the EFL Trophy win over West Brom as he aims to recover from a hip injury in time to face Bradford this weekend, was at The Den signing autographs and posing for selfies with fans on Tuesday night, before news that Ipswich Town were negotiating a deal for a striker led to murmurs the player in question was Gregory.
Millwall’s top scorer last season had been the subject of three bids from Rotherham United earlier in the month, but the 28-year-old remains part of Harris’ squad.
Harris released seven players at the end of last season before attempts to keep Mark Beevers proved unsuccessful.
But otherwise all of his key players remain, with Jordan Archer also penning a long-term deal with the club this week. Harris added four players to his first-team squad over the summer and is happy with the business he has done.
“I’m delighted with the squad,” Harris said. “There has been a lot of interest in our players because they are quality players, though a lot of the speculation in the last week was wide of the mark.
“The chairman has helped us keep the players, we’ve given new contracts, so John Berylson deserves huge credit. He’s put a lot of money into the club for a number of years now.”
Harris said he would prefer that clubs have to have their squads finalised before the first game of the season, and he now hopes that after giving full debuts to youngsters Jamie Philpot, Noah Chesmain and Kris Twardek he has the strength in depth to keep to cope with any potential player absences until the winter window opens on January 1.
Harris said: “Ideally I’d like it to close before the start of the season, yes. There is a lot of time to work on bringing in players from May, June all the way to August. I even think it’s not necessary for it to be open for the whole month of January.
“It could be a bizarre few months for clubs where injuries or suspensions could leave a lot of managers short.
“Hopefully that won’t be us.
“But the positive is it will force clubs to look at their younger players. We saw that the other night with the young players making their debuts for us. It will be a good experience for them being part of the squad and traveling with the first team.”
Meanwhile, the recruitment team will continue to work on a list of potential targets ahead of the next window.
“We will monitor players all the way until December 31,” Harris explained. “There could be different eventualities where we buy someone to replace someone or if players haven’t performed.
“We have loads to plan for and the beauty is you can plan for that without things changing all the time.”
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