Harris praise for Millwall defender after rare start

MILLWALL boss Neil Harris praised Joe Martin for his attitude after the defender made his first start since December in Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Gillingham.

Martin played left-back with Tony Craig and Shane Ferguson out injured, and was part of a Millwall defence that came under pressure at set-pieces, Gilingham scoring in controversial circumstances from one of their 12 corners before Steve Morison’s equaliser.

Twenty-eight-year-old Martin – who was Harris’ first signing for Millwall when he joined from the Gills in June 2015 – is out of contract in the summer, but there have been no discussions over a new deal.

Martin has been playing with the U23s to keep up his match fitness, and featured at centre-back in Adam Barrett’s side’s 5-1 win over Barnsley in a Professional Development League fixture last Monday.

“Joe is a top man, a top professional,” Harris said. “He’s been fit but just not in the squad because numbers dictate.

“He shows his qualities every day, he comes in and works hard, the boys love him.

“He’s been willing to travel and come to games, anything to be part of the group. I’ve always said to him, ‘If your chance comes you’ve got to be ready to take it’.

“I thought he got better as the game went on, him and David Worrall.”

Gillingham took a 67th-minute lead at Priestfield when Joe Quigley slammed home after Tom King had saved Harry Cornick’s shot following a corner awarded when King had appeared to be pushed over the line by Cody McDonald.

Harris was otherwise satisfied with how his side defended.

He said: “They’re really dangerous, before [Saturday] they were joint-top scorers from corners. We knew there was going to be pressure, they put a lot of bodies in there and had good delivery and we had to stand strong.

“They built pressure with corners, free-kicks, long throws, the ball was constantly coming into our box. I thought as a unit we dealt with it really well. Sometimes in football a decision goes against you and the ball goes into the back of your net. On the whole, though, I was really pleased.”

Image: Millwall FC

John Kelly

(@jkelly1882)

One thought on “Harris praise for Millwall defender after rare start

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