Harris praises 'outstanding' Millwall – and promises 'no complacency'

MILLWALL boss Neil Harris insisted there would be no “complacency” from his side as they extended their unbeaten run to 10 games with a 2-0 win at Coventry that moves them to within two points of the top six in League One.

Jake Cooper scored his first Millwall goal in the first half and Steve Morison fired home a second 10 minutes from time to seal the points.

The clean sheet was Millwall’s fifth in their last six games in all competitions, and Harris praised Cooper and Byron Webster for their performances as Russell Slade’s side battled gamely but slipped closer to relegation.

“I thought the key was the two penalty areas," Harris said. "We were excellent defensively, my two centre-halves were outstanding at one end. At the right times we were clinical at the other end.

“We knew it would be a battle, a club like this with its history and stature. We knew Russell would make it extremely competitive for us.

“The professionalism of my players was outstanding. We stood strong and if we had used the ball slightly better on the counterattack at times we could have been out of sight a bit earlier.

“We’re on a good run but there is no complacency, we know we have to earn every point at this level. We take nothing for granted."

Harris felt Millwall's set-pieces were below standard, and he wants more goals from that area.

"He (Jake) should be on five already, him and Byron should be scoring goals," Harris said. "Byron, Jake, Steve should be scoring from set-plays. Tony (Craig) heads an amazing amount of balls in the opposition penalty area without hitting the net.

"They should be attacking the ball and scoring goals. I'd say it's probably the worst delivery of set-plays we've had but we still managed to score, which is bizarre.

"Set-plays are key at any level. When you work on getting the ball forward and force corners and free-kicks, and practise diligently like we do, it's an important part of the game. Both boxes are key and we proved that again today."

Harris gave Mahlon Romeo his first start in 10 games, with Shaun Cummings rested. Fred Onyedinma came off the bench in the second half for Lee Gregory to partner Morison, and it was the substitute's shot that led to the vice-captain’s 15th goal of the season.

“I’ve got a competitive squad, players that want to play and are disappointed when they don’t," Harris said. "They appreciate that they have competition for places. That’s going to be vital if we are to force our way into those promotion places and stay there.

“We have to have a fit and healthy squad and players playing well.”

Harris also paid tribute to Morison. “He’s a real leader,” Harris said. “I think Steve might be the first person to say it wasn’t his best game today in a Millwall shirt, but he’s effective, he’s a handful.

"I asked my strikers to go again today when both maybe needed a rest. There was an argument for both to leave them out.

“I speak to my players and I trust them but both were desperate to play. Both at separate times have said to me, ‘Don’t you dare leave me out today, I want to play’.

“That’s their third game in six days and that’s the bravery of the group. That’s the fact that players don’t want to be left out, don’t want to miss out.

“I left Shaun Cummings out because it’s three games in six days. Mahlon came in and played very well at right-back.

“So there are some tough decisions for me next week.”

John Kelly