Millwall boss didn't want to miss Jed opportunity

MILLWALL boss Neil Harris is pleased to have added strength in depth in defence and attack in January.

Harris has brought in Jake Cooper and Jed Wallace and won’t recruit again this month unless his squad is hit with more injuries.

Cooper took the place of Shaun Hutchinson last weekend against Bradford with the former Fulham man out with a calf tear.

And Harris feels Wallace will give him the option of playing Aiden O’Brien and Fred Onyedinma up front.

“I’d spoken on record about defensive cover and bringing in competition for places at the back,” Harris said. “There’s no doubt during various periods during the first half of the season we were short because of various injuries.

“We addressed that with Jake this month, even though we have been defensively sound in the last six or seven games.

“Also, attacking-wise I felt we needed another threat going forward. Obviously we’ve had Aiden and Fred in wide areas for long periods, though both are possibly natural forwards. Both have played wide and played really well.

“We’ve got a lot of games in February and March and we can’t rely on all the same forward players. So having the opportunity to be able to push Aiden and Fred higher up the park will certainly benefit us.

“Jed adds pace and directness and end product. We certainly didn’t see the best of Jed last year in front of goal.

“We saw him being a real attacking threat and with the ability in our style of play to be able to carry the ball 80 yards up the park quickly, the same sort of ability Fred gives us.

“A big part of our game at the moment is defending deep and defending our penalty area. But we do need to be able to release the pressure and get up the park. Fred gives us real energy to get up the pitch but we can’t be only relying on Fred to do it, we need other players to do it as well. Jed gives us that and last year he was part of a really successful period for us.

“The opportunity for Jed to come back and work with us was something he was really looking forward to and an opportunity I didn’t want to miss. It’s not just that he’s a fantastic football player but he’s worked with us before, which is key.”

Image: Millwall FC 

John Kelly