Millwall boss Harris warns of 'wounded' Southend

NEIL Harris said Millwall players “need to be right up for it” as they chase a first win in September at Southend on Saturday afternoon.

Millwall have drawn their last two games, with Harris admitting they need to improve in possession to get a first league win since defeating Chesterfield 3-1 on August 27.

The Lions won twice in the space of 20 days at Roots Hall last season, scoring six goals over both games without reply to advance in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy and finish 2015 with a league win.

Southend go into Saturday’s contest in 22nd place in the League One table after just one win – at Sheffield United – in seven games.

Last week Phil Brown’s side lost 4-0 at Scunthorpe, and Harris thinks they will be determined to atone for recent setbacks.

“You look at Coventry and Southend as teams that didn’t finish very well last year and then teams like Scunthorpe and Fleetwood that finished like steam trains,” Harris said.

“Look how momentum carries you, look at ourselves, we’re near the top after finishing with momentum.

“It doesn’t always work that way and sometimes it’s difficult in the short term to turn it around, but Southend have got a very experienced manager.

“Yes we’ve had some good times there but that was last season. What we have to do is make sure we’re fully focussed, that we start well and are well organised and compete physically.

“I’ve been really delighted with some of our shape and defensive work. In two games we’ve been punished after some bad luck and one really good goal. Other than that we’ve been pretty good.

“It’s just with the ball we haven’t been as good, but that won’t continue. We’ll be much better with the ball.

“So it’s a big game on Saturday for us, we want to get back to winning ways. Southend are going to be wounded after a bad defeat and will come out fighting. So we’ve got to put in a good Millwall performance, the players will need to be right up for it.”

More than 3,000 Millwall fans attended both away games last season, and Harris is hoping for similar support this weekend.

He said: “I’m sure with the weather being so good it’ll be the same this year, there will be some going down Friday and some going down Saturday morning to enjoy the day.

“They were two great days last year, almost 2,000 fans at both games and great atmospheres, they were like two home games for us.

“It’ll be nice to see a big following there. We had a good following at Chesterfield and they saw probably the best performance of the season up there.”

Image source: ©Millwall FC

John Kelly