Harris: Millwall defeat at Swindon 'not acceptable'

MILLWALL boss Neil Harris said his attackers were “as bad as they’ve been” since he took over, after Saturday’s 1-0 defeat at Swindon meant the Lions missed the chance to move back into the League One play-off places.

Millwall saw their 16-game unbeaten run in the league come to an end after Conor Thomas’ 94th-minute winner at The County Ground on Saturday.

Harris’ side created little, and it was Swindon who more urgently pushed for a breakthrough that eventually came.

Harris took Steve Morison off in the second half, and Swindon’s defence dealt well with Lee Gregory, Aiden O’Brien and Jed Wallace as Millwall's attack failed to click.

“We didn’t impose ourselves on the game,” Harris said. “The front four players were about as bad as they’ve been in my two years in charge.

“A Millwall team should be coming here today really imposing ourselves on the game, being on the front foot and being aggressive.

“We got into good positions with the ball and didn’t use it wisely, that’s the only frustration.

“Loads of thoughts go through your head, is it the personnel and the amount of football we’ve played? If that’s the case then I’ll have to make changes.

“You want to reward people for playing well and being consistent. It’s been fruitful for us over the last three-and-a-half months. Today is not acceptable and if we are to force our way back into play-off contention we certainly have to perform a lot better than that on Tuesday night.

“We knew we were going to get beaten at some stage, we weren’t naïve enough to think we were going to win every game until the end of the season. Something was going to have to give at some stage but the disappointing thing for me was the manner of the defeat.

“We could be stood here after a 0-0 and say we’ve nicked a point away from home and been really solid and not given too many chances away. But the fact is we didn’t create enough chances. The players didn’t play with enough bravery on the ball and we looked a weak team mentally and physically.

“I don’t think it’s about working hard, it’s about me picking the right team Tuesday night, picking a fresh team.

“These boys have been great for me, brilliant, they’re a really good group and I’ve been loyal to a lot of players, as they’ve played well for me. It’s about picking the right players for the right game.”

Millwall haven’t won since their 6-0 loss at Tottenham Hotspur in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup, and face that trip to table-toppers Sheffield United in four days.

“That result itself was no problem,” Harris said. “The facts don’t lie, we’ve got knocked out of the FA Cup and have failed to win for three games. But spin that around and you can say in the league [in 16 games] we’ve been outstanding.

“I can take losing, no problem, we got beat [5-1] at Peterborough earlier in the season and we accept that, they were much better than us.

“Today, we didn’t impose ourselves on a team that was low on confidence, we gave them too many opportunities with the ball, we didn’t press with intensity, didn’t use the ball wisely enough.

“There were so many disappointments from today.”

Image: Millwall FC 

John Kelly

(@jkelly1882)

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