Millwall see EFL benefits despite record-low crowd

NEIL Harris insisted Millwall’s experience in this season’s EFL Trophy will benefit the club after they were knocked out in the second round by Wycombe on Wednesday night.

The competition has received much criticism this season after the participation of Premier League and Championship U23 teams.

Millwall won all their group games and gave full senior debuts to Harry Smith, Kris Twardek, Kyron Farrell, Paul Rooney, Noah Chesmain and James Brown.

Attendances have been poor across the board in this season’s competition, and a record-low crowd of 1,619 at The Den watched the 3-1 defeat against the Chairboys.

But Harris said the competition “served its purpose” for Millwall.

“I can be honest and say it wasn’t at the top of our agenda to try to win this competition,” Harris admitted. “I like winning and more importantly I hate losing. Losing hurts. We want to win every game we’re involved in but what’s important is that we follow a defeat by bouncing back on Saturday.

“That’s key, that we have a reaction against a team that’s rejuvenated under a new manager. We have to make sure that the focus is beating Shrewsbury.

“Harry Smith has been the find, Kris Twardek showed glimpses of his quality and athleticism. Tom King played all four games and got experience at this level. Shaun Cummings got more minutes which is important for him.

“There have been so many debuts this year and so many pluses: winning three group games with two of them coming off the back of defeats in the league the game before.

“It has certainly served its purpose for us.”

Image source: ©Millwall FC

John Kelly