Harris frustrated as Millwall draw Walsall blank

MILLWALL boss Neil Harris admitted his side “lacked quality” in their scoreless draw with Walsall at The Den on Wednesday night.

The Lions began brightly and Jed Wallace and Lee Gregory had early chances to score, but Walsall, playing with three centre-backs to counter the threat of Gregory and Steve Morison, comfortably claimed a point.

Harris said he expected his side to put the Saddlers under more pressure after half-time, but Millwall lacked the energy they had shown in their FA Cup win over Watford on Sunday.

“I thought we started the game really well,” Harris said. “For 25 or 30 minutes I enjoyed watching my team, I thought we moved the ball well, got the ball into dangerous positions and into the box.

“But we were a little bit reactive in the penalty area on crosses and set-plays, which is very unlike us.

“Walsall stifled us a little bit in the second half. I was quite pleased coming in at half-time with where we were, and I thought we’d have spells where we’d put a siege on their goal and create chances, but it never materialised.

“The last 20 minutes we were a little bit sloppy, we lacked quality and a little bit of calmness disappeared from our game.

“Where we’ve been so effective in creating chances playing the Millwall way, it sort of disappeared towards the end.

“I said to my players if you play well in the first 20 minutes that’s fine, but you’ve got to play well in the last 20 minutes, especially when you’re at The Den.”

The result stretched Millwall’s unbeaten run to nine games, and it was also a fourth clean sheet in five games for goalkeeper Jordan Archer.

“I’m a little bit frustrated that we didn’t test their goalkeeper a bit more, but I’m certainly pleased we got the clean sheet,” Harris added.

“Earlier in the season we were shipping goals and there was real concern. At the moment we’re looking solid defensively.

“We didn’t work Neil Etheridge, but they didn’t really work Jordan either, other than a shot in the first half.

“Our shape is really good, but we lacked that composure, that clinical edge and anticipation in and around their penalty area.”

Image: Millwall FC 

John Kelly