Harris: Millwall players showed desire to keep shirt

MILLWALL manager Neil Harris said his players “showed hunger and desire” in the 3-1 win over Charlton to want to keep their places in the side.

The Lions were injury and suspension free on Wednesday night for the first time this season, with Joe Martin and Sid Nelson missing out on the match-day 18 as a consequence.

Shaun Cummings started for the first time in the league since January 30, with Mahlon Romeo on the bench.

Centre-back Shaun Hutchinson made just his fourth league appearance this season, and just his second start, while Byron Webster returned having missed three games with a hamstring problem.

“For the first time this season I had a fully fit squad,” Harris said. “I know full well, and the whole stadium has known, and the dressing room has known, that we’ve needed to make changes because of a loss of form or results and certainly fatigue.

“I’ve not been able to but (Wednesday) I had a fully fit squad and I left Joe and Sid out which was really difficult. But I wanted an attacking bench.

“I spent a lot of time deliberating not just over the team but the bench as well. We saw a competitive performance and the players showed hunger and desire to play for the club and to keep the shirt.

“In key areas on the park we had the aggression and the tempo and came out on top in those key areas.”

Asked if he thought Karl Robinson’s side had contributed to their defeat with a poor performance, Harris said: “Charlton were brave, they tried to play. They know what they’re going to face when they play us. Karl asked his players to be brave and get on the ball.

“I wouldn’t talk about Karl’s team, I’d talk about our team and how good we were and the pressure we put them under. Our decisions when to press and when to drop off was the best it’s been all season.”

Harris was also pleased his side gave Lions supporters a pre-Christmas boost after three successive defeats.

“The local derby is all about your fans, all about bragging rights," Harris said. "I’m fully aware that Millwall and Charlton fans live in the same house, they work together and travel together, go down to the pub together. Until the middle of January this gives our fans the bragging rights.

“Questions have been asked of me and my group over the last couple of weeks because of poor results, and we bounced back again. It’s now finding that consistency in the second half of the season.”

Image source: ©Millwall FC

John Kelly

(@jkelly1882)