Millwall 'pinch' themselves as results go their way

NEIL Harris admitted his side were “poor” in their 3-0 defeat to Oxford on Saturday, and said “you have to pinch yourself” after other results meant Millwall go into the final game of the season in sixth.

Conor McAleny put Oxford two goals ahead inside nine minutes and Oxford added a third in the second half through Joshua Ruffels as they coasted to a comfortable win.

Millwall rarely threatened, but can still guarantee a sixth-place finish if they beat Bristol Rovers in the last game of the season.



Southend’s defeat at Shrewsbury and Rochdale’s draw against Oldham means if Millwall defeat Bristol Rovers next Sunday they will finish sixth.

However, if they fail to win Southend or Rochdale can deny them a play-off place.

The defeat to Oxford was Millwall’s first at The Den since December 10.



Harris said: “The overriding emotion after that, and I was honest with my group, is that we were really poor today. It was a poor Millwall performance.

“After 17 games of being fantastic here and overrunning team after team after team, including three Premier League sides, we perform like that in our last home game of the season.

“Then you get told you’re still sixth and you have to pinch yourself a little bit. As bad as we were, what a great position to be in.

“We’ll wake up tomorrow and analyse and say we can be so much better than that, and we will be on Sunday at Bristol Rovers. What a great opportunity we’ve got.

“It’s hugely disappointing today, but our fate is in our hands.

“From probably November time onwards, if you had said to me we have one game to finish in the top six I would have snapped your hands off.”

Millwall’s best chance to get back into the game came at 2-0 down, but Aiden O’Brien saw his shot saved by goalkeeper Simon Eastwood.

Otherwise the home side created little.

“Maybe we were a little bit nervous, though I didn’t detect it before the game,” Harris said. “On Thursday and Friday we were really good.

“Maybe we lost a little bit of focus and were too relaxed. There was a sense of players not taking responsibility for their own performances, waiting for the man beside them to do something and score a goal.

“I reminded the players you haven’t got to play well here, but you’ve got to play like a Millwall player. The first half we didn’t, the second half we competed better.

"Aiden had that chance and if we get it back to 2-1 we know what can happen here. But they go up the other end and score. It’s poor by us. Big moments change games.”

Image: Millwall FC

John Kelly

(@jkelly1882)

36 thoughts on “Millwall 'pinch' themselves as results go their way

  • April 22, 2017 at 18:00
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    Change tatics play football on the floor if we can see it why can't harris what a load of s*** today poor performance we are so lucky we are still 6th COYL let wake up now

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      • April 22, 2017 at 18:51
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        I cannot understand why Harris dropped King after the tremendous performances he has put in recently? AND he reinstated Craig after Martin has been playing so well??? Always a case of playing his mates. He did it with Forde last year and then compounded it by playing Craig in the Play off Final. Our manager cost us promotion last year and is doing his best to do the same this year. Craig is well past it and only Harris thinks differently. Archer was responsible for two of the goals. He is a good keeper but King is the one in form. So disappointing and aren't we so lucky to have yet another chance next week? If Harris does not act sensibly next week in his selection, I give up!

        @Richard Cooksey:

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      • April 23, 2017 at 06:35
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        @Richard Cooksey: true m8 it was a shambles no plan b just get the ball and boot it up top and wish greggs or morrison heads it load of s*** harris is playing in the past tent it now 2017 play the ball on the floor we create more chances and another thing is we was playing like we are relegated no pressing no fight no sprit I'm so f****** mad wasted 30 pound on watching kids play men shitttttttttttttttttttttttt

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  • April 22, 2017 at 18:20
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    .....Oh and we are all sorry about that performance and to let you all down.

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  • April 22, 2017 at 18:46
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    Lazy defending led to the goals , most of the players looked like they were already on holiday ,Millwall have been rumbled and are so predictable ,too easy to beat . No interest ,no confidence can't get the basics right , keeping possession , accurate passes , defending and scoring goals ,think if we get to the playoffs are likely to end up being very embarrassed . In the unlikely event we got promoted would probably come straight down again ,lack of imagination, quality and passion and being realistic we are a first division team and always have been .

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  • April 22, 2017 at 19:24
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    Harris saying we was poor is a understatement have to agree with longtimer with archer and craig, you don't change keepers archer didn't look fit and craig has always been past it. For me the biggest mystery was why he keeps playing o'brein he is clueless runs all over the place, bottles it and can't take people on. We have no attacking options at all if things aren't working out. As much as I liked harris as a player he hasn't got much of a idea

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  • April 22, 2017 at 19:25
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    Abdou would have been a better option in midfield at least he would have chased everything.

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  • April 22, 2017 at 19:52
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    I can't see how butcher doesn't get in this side he is our best midfielder I haven't seen him have a bad game and I seriously think we need to change the 4-4-2 to a 4-2-3-1 it works with every other team that plays that against us so why not try something different

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  • April 22, 2017 at 20:18
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    Why drop King? Why drop Martin? Why play o'brian wide when he is a central striker. Surely play him as plan b and start with Butcher.

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  • April 22, 2017 at 20:20
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    Harris
    Shouldn't of dropped king or Martin for his pal Craig got tactics wrong today

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  • April 22, 2017 at 20:21
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    I think we all know that this is not the greatest Millwall team we've ever seen by a long way though there is promise there.
    Traditionally we've done well with a 442 formation. We've always been promoted playing that formation so for Harris - who was part of that formation himself- to use it is somewhat understandable. The problem is that all the other teams can play different formations but you can imagine the team talk on a Friday when discussing playing us. '
    Harris was a truly magnificent player for Millwall. One of the best. Sometimes you have to look around and see what's what. We have played the same way this season as last. No need to explain it. We all know what it is. This season we will finish with less points than last year and in the last month we have dropped points all over the place and today was totally unnacceptable. It's all well and good saying 'we can't play any worse' but the real truth of it is that had we won we would be in the play-offs. Now, we all have to endure Bristol Rovers away on the last day when in truth a Millwall team of any mettle would have secured automatic promotion by now. At Wembley last year we saw Moro stripped of the captaincy 20 mins before kick.off. This was after he'd done all the tv, radio and press interviews. I put that decision down to a bit of naivety and inexperience but let it go because it was Harris. I don't think any Millwall supporter or any football supporter or manager for that matter would have done that. We need a change. We can't keep supporting players who should not be playing nor a manger who, if it wasn't Harris, would have felt our frustration and anger some time ago. The real truth is that this division's managers and players sussed us out in November which is why we will finish 30 points lower than Sheffield Utd. Today was totally inexscusable and as a consequence heads have to roll.

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  • April 22, 2017 at 20:46
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    Oxford played the ball on the floor and it payed off big time every time we got the ball it was thumped upfield for Moro or Greggors to chase. Teams have sussed us out a long time ago. Romeo Craig and Archer were a disaster today. This was a crucial game today and I can't beleive were still in with a chance of the play offs.

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  • April 22, 2017 at 20:54
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    Why o why do managers have to get busy and start making big decisions when there are none to make, if he had kept the same team as last week no one would have questioned it but he makes two changes for no reason and one has a howler and is responsible for 2 goals when king was playing fine, I've no idea why he felt the need to bring in a clearly unfit craig when he had other options. It was an awful performance by the players but also by the manager,he will tell the players that, who will tell him.

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    • April 22, 2017 at 21:16
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      @Bordersarebest: we need width, obrien on the left means we always lose 2nd ball on left as he is never there as he is in the centre with Gregory and Morison. He also plays for himself , he is talented and has an eye for goal at times but he is slow and ponderous and thinks he's better than he is.
      King was on form so should have played and Martin is good on the ball and Craig is not.As soon as we were behind Martin and fergie should have come on.so could be better in possession.hutchinson is a big miss,so unfortunate he seems injury prone.
      I don't enjoy watching our direct football but it's Harris way , however the problem is he can never adapt the system.
      I have tickets for BR , oh what fun!.
      I live in hope for this selection at Bristol
      King cummings Hutchinson (if fit ) Webster Martin Wallace Williams butcher Ferguson Morison Gregory . Thompson needs a breather . Either way can't really see us winning.

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  • April 22, 2017 at 21:55
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    Harris is just not up to managing pressure his tactics are as bad as any manager in this division,Harris is content to brow nose the chairman and especially Berylsons,Why he never bought in the transfer window is just to areshole lick the board,Today Millwall seemed like a team throwing a game and may be that it suits them financially to stay in this division,As for Harris Imhave said all season he is a Vanarama League manager,He ballsed Up tactics in last years play off final and I as lifelong Supporter do not trust his ability as a manager of Millwall to progress them it simply is not there talent wise,If by chance we did get promoted Harris has to go because we will be straight down.

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  • April 22, 2017 at 22:15
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    Well, here l go, how the f**k did the results go "FOR US" did l go to the wrong game or did we LOSE 3-0 good job they didnt go for us like that all season cos we have been down by christmas. According to Mr Harris we played our best football all season at Fleetwood, we LOST, then for some reason he decided to change the team Archer was 100% at fault for the 2nd goal and what did Craig do that Martin couldnt have done ?

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  • April 22, 2017 at 23:10
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    I have always tried to back Harris, who I will always take after a clown like Holloway but today I digress.. why do you only have a plan A. Why can you not see that 442 is from the dark ages. I know it can work at home against the lesser teams but when you are being over run why could you not see we needed to change it, At no time today did we look like we would get a result, yet you did nothing about it at any point. I know longer care about going up as what is the point. Either progress, mature, learn & diversify or f*** off!!!

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  • April 22, 2017 at 23:56
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    We seem to have a problem with choosing a Captain at the start of the season. This time it is Craig, and before him Dunne. They were both gutsy players, but do not have the brains or skill of reading games. Its funny because they both do the same things, dive in all the time, panic and play the long ball. Then the managers feel obliged to play them whenever possible?

    Holloway did try and make us play a bit more football, but played everyone out of position, and kept rotating players every game. Then Harris came in, and got the fight back in the players and a consistency of scrapping and winning every 2nd ball from knock downs. In essence, we have not progressed in terms of football wise for decades. Look when we brought in the midfield loanee from Watford (Fabbrini), he was different class. We still might get promoted, as Moro and Greg are owed some goals, but we need someone to run the games. In my opinion we should drop Williams, play Thompson holding, and play Fred in a free role, just behind. He'll give us a few bits of magic we need in important games, and the type of player to win us penalties with his trickery. We have been awarded loads this season, we could do with a few more!

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  • April 23, 2017 at 09:46
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    Long shot but don't suppose anyone as one or two tickets for Bristol rovers spare do they worth asking

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    • April 23, 2017 at 10:06
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      @chris: Archer hopefully.

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  • April 23, 2017 at 10:13
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    I will not renew my st while harris is manager can't watch that s..t any more (supporter of 50 years) love the guy as a player but as a manager no!

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    • April 23, 2017 at 10:48
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      @Davy boy: Agree 100% with that Davy boy but therein lies the problem-How do you turn your back on the legend that Harris is?
      The painful answer is that you have to.

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  • April 23, 2017 at 11:19
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    What did king and martin do to deserve that ??? Glad Harris see sense and took craig off although far too late. Archer should've been more honest the 2 goals he was at fault for were bad enough but what about that place kick ??? Never seen a millwall keeper do that before. Romeo ???? What has Cummings got to do??? He didn't put a foot wrong in fact we were on our great run with him. 2-0 down and the only change made was switching the wingers, i know it's hindsight but 3-5-2 wouldve given us an extra body in the middle and a bit more width at that time. Should not have changed the team at all very disappointed in Harris who's very inept tactically. Surely he knew Appleton would do a job on him again it was like watching the cup game last season. What does Harris do now at Bristol???? I would go with king Cummings Webster cooper martin wallace butcher Williams Ferguson Moro and Greg's. I'd have Romeo and O'Brien to come on as attacking options cause we have none, you might argue Fred but it looks as though his heart ain't in it otherwise he'd have come on yesterday. Romeo's defending is questionable so would use him as a winger coming off the bench for Bristol and I think with butcher's experience and temperament he'd be a safer option although I love Thompson he took far too long yesterday to get involved and teams are starting to bypass him much more.
    Big game to play at a place we never win not sure we'll do it and you can forget results going our way again I predict a draw for Southend and ourselves and Rochdale to sneak it - that's worse case, but the wall in me says 3 points for the 3 of us in with a chance. Down to us boys lady luck has done all she can.
    Good luck next week wall

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  • April 23, 2017 at 12:28
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    Agree with so much that has already been said, but one thing not mentioned. Once again NH has shafted Moro by ripping the captaincy away from him at the last minute and giving it to his pal Craig. The dressing room hasn't forgotten what happened at Wembley - It was "Barnsleygate" Mark 2. You can work the rest out for yourself!!!!!!!

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  • April 23, 2017 at 12:51
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    Cummings was dropped because of the poor effort in his last game were he didn't even break into a sweat and Craig was quicker on the day

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  • April 23, 2017 at 12:52
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    From what I'm hearing if we don't go up it's goodbye to Lee Gregory, Sheffield united ready to pounce. I personally think he deserves a shot again at a higher level so I wouldn't blame him .

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  • April 23, 2017 at 12:56
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    If we are going to play long ball what was the point of romeo when defensively cummings is the better option ,,as for craig he has got better as the season has gone on and you cant question his commitment but after some good performances i know we lost at fleetwood but that was a travesty i just dont see the point of changing a team that hadnt done much wrong archer is a good keeper but king is in good form and may well have stopped both opening goals and as for martin he does give a lot of free kicks away but after the last 2 games i would have kept him in

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  • April 23, 2017 at 13:28
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    King
    Hutchinson cooper Martin
    Romeo Jed Thompson S w fergie
    Gregory Morrison

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  • April 23, 2017 at 13:43
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    By the way of course ime going to renew my st that's what we do but ime just so p....d off with this crap football we watch

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  • April 23, 2017 at 14:18
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    One things for sure, they'll be a couple of changes at least at Rovers Probably King in for Archer and the club captain on the bench. Butcher should also start IMO and we need two wingers starting and that does not mean O'Brien.
    I can't see Berylson firing Harris whatever happens. If we don't make the play-offs or lose out I actually think Harris will resign. If he does resign I'd be talking to Tim Sherwood about next season. Anyone got anyone better in mind?

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  • April 23, 2017 at 14:43
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    Sure yesterday was disappointing to say the least..but come on this is our MILLWALL We are talking about they like to make us sweat lol keep your heads lads we go again at Bristol win 4 0 beat Fleetwood over two legs and beat Scunthorpe in the final at. Wembley..then in the summer buy a decent playmaker in midfield another striker (a young Hungary one from Prem. Who can't get in their side) then watch us go...yes and bring in an experiment ex manager to help Harris get his tactics right

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  • April 23, 2017 at 14:47
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    Not the first time Archer's been caught napping

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  • April 23, 2017 at 15:47
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    Its torture watching us at times harris had the highest percentage win rate of any millwall manager everbut cant help feeling that this is his level; that said it he inherited a terrible mess and despite being wildly inconsistent theres been a lot of good performances ,that said kenny jacket would have had this ream promoted automatically lomas would have had anout 15th and holloway would have had us relegated ,do we want to go up this season to watch us struggle all next season to 18th or would you prefer another top 6 position im

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  • April 23, 2017 at 19:50
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    I ain't no footballing expert by a long shot have supported wall for 40 years as did my old man granddad etc etc but let's all look on the bright side we are still in the play offs win at the weekend and we are there I got good feeling we will win the play offs surely I can t see another lost final lol. But give Harris his due his new to management we are up there had good cup run as well bet there is a lot of more experienced managers in the league would like to be in his position lets just all get behind him and the team for one last push and who knows we may just be back in the championship next year coyl

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  • April 24, 2017 at 12:33
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    Whilst I do feel that Saturday's performance was dreadful, and I agree that we need to play more ground based passing, the fact remains that we do not really have the "playmaker" necessary to dictate the play. The closest would be Williams who does have the vision and the ability to pick out passes, but he is more of a defensive playmaker (and is too inconsistent, 1 game he could be MOTM and the next be utter dog crap, like on Saturday)
    In addition, it would appear that our team has a lack of pace and width, notwithstanding Fred and Jed Wallace, thereby making us easy to figure out. It is apparent that we are too predictable and others have rightly pointed out that once Morison is negated, we look incapable of creating chances. Also, what happened to Harry Smith? I thought he was signed so that he could be a long term replacement for Morison, but we haven't seen him since the Braintree game. (I believe?)

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