Millwall boss sees bright future for young keeper

MILLWALL manager Neil Harris expects Tom King to “keep improving” after the 21-year-old goalkeeper helped the Lions to an eighth successive clean sheet at the weekend.

King is in the side with Jordan Archer injured, and followed up his league debut against Chesterfield last week with another solid performance in Saturday’s 0-0 draw at Oldham Athletic.

King held onto the ball well when former Lions midfielder Chris Taylor sent a tricky free-kick towards the bottom corner just before half-time.

In the second period he saw a low shot from Ollie Banks skip off an awful surface before he palmed the ball away to safety.

Harris said: “Kingy again stood up to the test very well away from home. It’s completely different being away from home than being at The Den in your own sanctuary and familiar surroundings.

“He was confident, he kicked well and his handling was good. They had two shots on target, the free-kick from 30 yards which he handled really well low down. And the second one was the shot that came through a crowd of bodies.

“I’m really pleased with him. He’ll keep growing in stature. He’s a young man and he’ll keep improving as a keeper.”

Millwall had two late chances to win the game against John Sheridan’s side, but Lee Gregory missed a 90th-minute penalty before the same outcome was repeated with the last action of the contest when Latics goalkeeper Connor Ripley again guessed right to save his spot-kick.

Earlier, Harry Smith headed just wide and Fred Onyedinma beat Ripley but Peter Clarke scraped his shot off the line.

“I said to the boys at half-time we needed to be a little braver on the ball, even in those conditions,” Harris said. “Oldham settled more quickly and were braver because they’re used to playing on the pitch.

“We certainly took an extra touch in the second half and made an extra pass. We were too predictable with the ball in the first half, we went too direct too quickly. After the break we mixed it up and made use of the big man (Smith) flicking balls on and also we had real quality around their box.

“Smithy just missed the target in the first half from a header, in the second one Fred has one off the line and then there were the penalty incidents.

“We’ll take the point and we’re pleased with the clean sheet, but we need to start turning these one points into three.”

Image: Millwall FC

John Kelly


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