Boss Harris unhappy with officials in Millwall draw

NEIL Harris said the officiating in Millwall’s 0-0 draw with Bury on Saturday was “disappointing”, after Steve Morison’s apparently legitimate goal was ruled out for offside.

Morison found the back of the net in the second half after Jed Wallace ran the length of the pitch to set him up, but the linesman’s flag shot up as the striker slipped the ball under Shakers goalkeeper Joe Murphy.

Harris said afterwards he had watched it back “from two different angles” and believes the officials got it wrong.

“I thought the officials were disappointing for us today,” Harris said. “It’s a tough job they have. I spoke to the ref about the way he let Bury players manage the game, some experienced players. The goalkeeper took his time, they took a long time on throw-ins.

“But that’s what away teams do. We do it very well when we play on the road and are in front.

“I thought some 50/50s went against us that led to a little bit of frustration in the stadium. The biggest one of all, the linesman has got the decision wrong for the goal.

“Anyone can make a 50/50 call and get it wrong, but when you’ve got the 18-yard line as a guide, where Steve has made his run across, he shouldn’t really get it wrong.

“The goal was a perfectly good goal, unfortunately from our point of view. Luck eluded us today with that decision. The keeper made a couple of excellent saves for them, he showed his experience at times.

“The keeper, with the way he manged the game, the saves he made, marshalling his back five, was the difference between us winning the game and not picking up three points.

“I thought Jed gave us real energy, carried the ball for us, looked sharp. How many teams is that now that have played a back seven against us? Five defenders and two holding midfielders.

“Today we just lacked a little bit of composure at times. When we had the composure, the patience and quality on a difficult playing surface we looked really good. A couple of times it didn’t quite happen for us. Credit to Bury, they got the point they came for.

“We’re a little bit disappointed and frustrated it wasn’t three points for us.”

It was Millwall’s fourth scoreless draw directly after an FA Cup game this season, but Harris denied that was a factor in the performance against Lee Clark’s resilient side.

Millwall’s struggles to break their opponents down elicited audible frustration from the home fans, as the Lions dropped out of the play-off places but have games in hand on the six sides above them in the League One table.

Harris feels Millwall fans “need to be more patient” with his side at The Den.

“We’re in a brilliant position,” he said. “You don’t really want games in hand at this stage of the season because you’ve got to catch them up. But we have games in hand because of our excellent cup run.

"We couldn’t quite get over the line today but I think the fans certainly need to be more patient with my players. On a pitch that’s not conducive to being able to pass the ball the frustration in the crowd can get itself onto the pitch. It shouldn’t do – the fans should be proud of what the team have achieved and where we are in the league."

Image: Millwall FC 

John Kelly


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