Harris says new Millwall centre-back 'outstanding' as Lions settle for a point at Bradford

NEIL Harris was disappointed Millwall didn’t become the first away side to win a League One game at Valley Parade this season after Bradford came from behind to claim a point in their clash on Saturday.

Lee Gregory gave Millwall the lead in the 50th minute, but James Meredith levelled for the Bantams 10 minutes later.

Bradford looked the more likely to find a winner, with Mark Marshall coming closest when he shot just wide in the 73rd minute.

Harris said: “We got our noses in front so it’s a little bit disappointing we didn’t see the game out. But it’s a tough place to come and I think if we had been a little bit more clinical in the first half we could have had ourselves in front at half-time.

“On reflection now and I’m sure when I watch it back on the long journey home we’ll be satisfied and happy with a point.”

With Shaun Hutchinson out with a calf injury, Harris gave a debut to new loan signing from Reading, Jake Cooper, who partnered Byron Webster in the middle of Millwall’s defence.

Cooper could have scored but saw a first-half header saved by Colin Doyle, and Harris was pleased with the 6ft 7ins centre-back’s performance.

“I thought he was outstanding, he was excellent,” Harris said. “They looked a good combination, Jake and Byron. Jake won his headers, his shape was good and you can see he’s played a lot of Championship football at a high level dealing with movement around the box. I was really pleased with him.

“When you’re nine foot six you’re going to be a threat! He’ll be disappointed he didn’t score in the first half.

“I thought numerous times we got into quite good areas on the counterattack but didn’t quite use the ball, I thought we made good decisions but the timing of the pass was just out. That’s certainly something for us to focus on this week. But I thought the two centre-halves were excellent in both boxes.”

Harris brought on Jed Wallace and Shane Ferguson in the 69th minute for Fred Onyedinma and Aiden O’Brien, but both wingers found it tough to help turn the tide against a Bradford side on top in the last quarter.

“I think the two boys that came on didn’t quite have the impact I hoped they would, it was difficult for them go get into the pace of the game,” Harris said. “It was a high-pace game and I think you saw two tired midfields at the end of the game because it was backwards and forwards.

“Jed looked a little bit rusty, the boy has not played a lot of first-team football. The opportunity to bring him in was a good one for us and he’ll certainly have a part to play in the rest of the season.”

Image: Millwall FC 

John Kelly

(@jkelly1882)