Harris praises 'brave' striker – but is unhappy with Millwall's defending

MILLWALL boss Neil Harris said Lee Gregory was a “brave lad” after the striker’s added-time penalty gave Millwall a 2-1 win over MK Dons on Saturday.

Gregory won and converted his second penalty in a week after his winner against Peterborough on Tuesday after missing two against Oldham last weekend.

Dons boss Robbie Neilson thought the decision was harsh, but Harris had no doubts.

“I’ve seen it back and saw it at the time, it’s as clear as day,” he said. “He gives him a pull. He’s got no need to make any contact, he makes it easy for the referee.

“Gregs is a really strong boy, I’ve seen him in the gym. If he’s pulled and it’s not affecting him he carries on.

“He’s a brave lad, two in a week, two match-winners on the back of last week at Oldham. Any nerves he had were discarded on Tuesday night but to do it again on the Saturday after shows bravery.

“He had a calm head, and there weren’t to many clam heads today. Lee Gregory certainly had that in abundance in the last minute.”

Four minutes before Gregory’s penalty MK Dons had a glorious chance to go in front but Den Bowditch headed over from point-blank range from Nicky Maynard’s cross.

Harris said: “It was a great opportunity, the boy should score. It might have been the only time they got near our penalty area in the second half, they set their stall out to get a point.

“They nearly achieved it but that’s the fine margins in football at this stage of the season. It’s about winning games, it’s not about who plays the best football or how you win games. It’s just about getting over the line.

“The pitch doesn’t help both teams but that’s how it’s going to be until the end of the season.

“I thought it was a niggly game and MK Dons certainly slowed it down. The goalkeeper from the first moment managed the game. They came to frustrate the crowd and the players and at times we got sucked into that, our decision-making on the ball was poor at times.

“But I’m very pleased with three points.

Millwall conceded their first goal in 10 games and Harris was unhappy with the nature of his side’s defending that led to it.

“It was a great strike from Ben Reeves in the first place but our set-up from the corner was all wrong,” Harris explained. “I’ve made my feelings clear to the players about what I thought of that moment.

“We’ve conceded one goal in 10 games, a pretty decent record. The run was going to come to an end.

“It was a good strike but we were poor and I’ve explained to the players – more than explained to the players – that fine detail is the difference between success and failure.

“We’re been successful of late because our fine detail, our preparation has been exemplary. Today our fine detail was poor from the corner that led to the goal.”

On the penalty, Neilson said: “This place is a great place to play at, I love coming here, but you need a strong referee and really strong characters.”

Image: Millwall FC 

John Kelly


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