Millwall boss: 'Too early to talk about changes – the group have been fantastic this year'

NEIL Harris admits "every position gives me something to think about" ahead of the last game of the season at Bristol Rovers next Sunday.

After Saturday’s 3-0 defeat to Oxford, Millwall need to win at The Memorial Stadium to guarantee their place in the play-offs.

Harris took Tony Craig off at half-time against Oxford, with Shane Ferguson coming on.



He also restored Jordan Archer to the starting XI, after Tom King had played the previous five games. Harris admitted his regular first-choice goalkeeper had a difficult game.

“He shouldn’t be rusty, he had trained for two weeks and knocked on my door to say he wanted to be in the team,” Harris said.

“He’s proven himself to be very good goalkeeper over a period of time, won player of the year last season. [Saturday] wasn’t one of his better moments.



“Every position gives me something to think about next week. What’s important is a calm head. The players have been brilliant this year. There have been a lot of games and a lot of good performances.

“If you give flair teams a goal or two head start they’re going to cause you problems. A flair team did the nitty-gritty against us better. Their centre-halves were better than my centre-forwards. Their centre-forwards were better than my centre-halves, their midfielders were better than my midfielders.

“Some of our defending was schoolboy defending. The first goal was a really good one, the other two were avoidable, maybe even my goalkeeper doing better or us doing better as a defensive unit.

“The rest of the games we’ve played this season go completely out the window next weekend. We go to Bristol and I’ve got to pick the right team in the right formation that I think is good enough to beat Bristol Rovers.

“I’m sure there will be a disappointed person or two in my dressing room coming into next Sunday. But it’s too early now to talk about changes and personnel, because the group as a whole have been fantastic this year.”

Bristol Rovers’ 4-2 defeat to Peterborough last Saturday ended their chances of finishing in the top six.

Oxford also had little to play for, and Harris knows his side can’t afford to take Sunday’s opponents lightly.

“MK Dons won at Southend last week, Oxford won here,” he said. “You’re talking about good teams that have done well and have some really good, attack-minded players.

“They have maybe felt the pressure going into the last weeks of the season and not performed. So there’s no pressure on them and they can come out and perform.”

Image: Millwall FC 

John Kelly

(@jkelly1882)

28 thoughts on “Millwall boss: 'Too early to talk about changes – the group have been fantastic this year'

  • April 25, 2017 at 08:09
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    Training isn't the same as playing especially in such an important fixture. Put your hands up you got it wrong with Archer and should've played King. A little more honesty from our manager would be much appreciated by the fans.

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  • April 25, 2017 at 08:30
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    Archer and Craig shouldnt have come back in last game. I love bomber a a player and Manager he has given Millwall everything but what is it with him and Tony Craig?? same thng happened at Wembley when Craig come back in and re took the captains armband from Moro and look what happened on that day!!

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  • April 25, 2017 at 08:41
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    Did not see a "The Fantastic Group all year" last Saturday. I saw a group of uninterested and at times lazy players. How can they have any excuse with such an important match? Its now up to Neil to get it into them about this Sunday, it's in our own hands.

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  • April 25, 2017 at 09:07
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    Someone had better tell Neil it's been pretty s*** viewing this season bar the odd cup game and we're gonna make the play offs by default.

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  • April 25, 2017 at 09:29
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    Neil you quite rightly back your players but sometimes you've got to tell it like it is.were playing prehistoric football,everyone knows how we play,surely as an experienced pro,you can see that.I fear more of the same next season,whatever the division,only with less of our so called better players,surely we can do better than this,just one more point the boy who scored 2 against us Saturday was a loan in the Jan window believe it was his 10 goal for the club what's our so called scouts doing? If we would have got someone like that,would have probably got auto promotion

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  • April 25, 2017 at 09:46
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    Let's totally bamboozle BR on Saturday and go 3-5-2, play the passing game all over the pitch and play some decent through balls to our forwards and carve open goal scoring opportunities instead of lumping it over the top and expecting a miracle comeback to suddenly happen.

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  • April 25, 2017 at 11:13
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    We should play 0 0 10 cos I'm very sure a draw isn't going to be enough and I'd personally go for it rather than conceding a last minute goal and lose the 3 points.

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  • April 25, 2017 at 12:02
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    Every millwall fan loved neil harris as a player and in truth he is doing ok as a manager but only ok kenny jacket would have got this squad promoted automatically and possibly as champions the play offs are par no more than that,, that said left with holloway or lomas we would have got nowhere close to where we are now and neil can get better

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    • April 25, 2017 at 13:35
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      @Eastsussexlion: Two seasons is enough. That's a lot more than most get. Haaris is giving what he perceives Millwall supporters want ie: a 442 system with a 'blood and guts typical Millwall performance'. What I want is the football to actually stay on the ground for more than 5 seconds and a formation that evolves.

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      • April 25, 2017 at 20:13
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        @NICKOLA: Funny enough 1 of the players said this to me on Sunday night. Neil is giving us what we want apparently! The 'player' said if we were told to play we could 'smash' teams. Not sure myself

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  • April 25, 2017 at 12:59
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    I feel that if the manager is to progress and reach his full potential he needs an experienced director of football to work with on a full time basis and not on the odd visit to the training "

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  • April 25, 2017 at 13:07
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    In recent weeks we were unable to score against Oxford, Fleetwood, Swindon,Bury,Oldham,Chesterfield. We also dropped points in all of these matches I for one don't think this is fantastic. Sorry Neil

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  • April 25, 2017 at 13:09
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    I am getting fed up with this 'If you give flair teams a goal or two head start they’re going to cause you problems' b*****, where are our flair players. I am sure they are in there somewhere, but he has to let them play the ball instead of hoof ball. What do they work on in training? Lump, and chase?? Showing his inexperience and I fear the worse on Sunday.

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  • April 25, 2017 at 13:20
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    Going off the track a bit but see the club are beaming back the BR game wouldn't it be nice if just for once the club thought of all those season ticket holders who buy early every year to support the club. Some are not able to travel away or get to the den for beam backs for one reason or another would be nice for the club to send season ticket holders the link for these games as a bonus for buying early every year to allow them to watch games like this.

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    • April 25, 2017 at 14:41
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      @dave Parker: Not really workable. The reward for buying early is a very good discount and in fairness they haven't upped the prices for a few years now.

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  • April 25, 2017 at 13:37
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    I'd be very surprised to see us in the top six come Sunday afternoon hopefully I'm proven wrong. let's start with getting the ball down on the floor and putting Archer and your mate Craig on the bench.

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  • April 25, 2017 at 13:46
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    The strange thing is we are still sixth and have gained 70 points playing prehistoric long ball football, the trouble is it relies on luck more than skill, lobbing it long and hoping to win second balls, on occasion it works as the points total suggests, but the consistent teams in every division play football, look at our league, Sheffield, Bolton , Bradford all football playing teams, if we get lucky and win promotion it will be short lived playing this predictable way.

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    • April 25, 2017 at 15:13
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      @Terry Stamp: yes but the difference with us and Barnsley is that they were bottom of the table in December and they had a lot of momentum going in to the playoffs. Where as we have got about as much momentum as Del Boys 3 wheeler.

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  • April 25, 2017 at 14:06
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    Its a hard call to make on our season this year, slow start , then got going only to have a fabulous cup run , & ever since that ended we've struggled to convincingly beat anyone & that is what has cost us, otherwise we could have made automatic spot ,I'm sure of that , however it is what it is & were still in with a shout , if we sneak a result at BR , & finish 6th we have nothing to lose in the play offs & everything to gain & we wouldn't be the first club to finish 6th & go up. Lets finish the season on a high this time round & laugh at all around us . Next season is next season which ever division were in & we can talk about that later .

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    • April 25, 2017 at 14:26
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      Absolutely correct - weren't Barnsley in 6th position , 10 points behind us, last season - they've done alright, haven't they??

      @Jingles:

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  • April 25, 2017 at 14:37
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    Re. Cup run loved it like every millwall fan,and I know you can only beat what's in front of you BUT take a look at the teams they put out and there commitment so let's not get too carried away

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  • April 25, 2017 at 15:49
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    I think it is a shocking admission by the manager that other teams are so called flair teams, these flair teams are 3rd division teams same as us! I've seen games this season when we're playing against 10 men 1-0 up and still letting them have the ball! The facts are our players are not encouraged to keep the ball and play "football" and there is no doubt in my mind this current squad are capable, our default is get it forward early and when that don't work we've nothing left to offer! Unless the management team expand our play and become less predictable i think we'll never get to the level we all want!

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  • April 25, 2017 at 16:24
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    I don't see Oxford as a 'flair team'. They have some skilfull players bu they play a fairly basic game. Our game plan was poor. We dropped too deep and allowed them space to craft chances, and we allowed them to close us down by being too static. Simple errors. We have a reasonably good squad, with one or two very good players at this level, and should be more consistent at this stage in the season. I may be surprised but we do not look good enough for the play offs this year, which is a surprise because the squad is better IMHO

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  • April 25, 2017 at 16:27
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    On the Craig thing, I agree with the criticisms above. We have let in a lot of goals this season due to his poor marking. Not good enough. Why drop Allen when he has played so well?

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  • April 25, 2017 at 17:16
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    Change tatics keep the ball on the floor and play football it that simple come on harris sort it out where the sorry to fans for Saturday we should get our money back I no it 30 pound but I work hard for that I could of bought my kids something anyway COYL don't let us down or urself down

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  • April 25, 2017 at 17:31
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    Let's focus on this one off game at br and then next season what ever division we are in start playing football on the ground instead of the dambuster approach bouncing balls everywhere coyl

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  • April 25, 2017 at 17:55
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    Harris as done a good job the best he can do but he's got no plain B so most of teams managers know this, that's why we can not score goals just stop the long ball job done.

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  • April 25, 2017 at 20:34
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    Neil Harris is a millwall legend but that alone does not make him a good manager. if this team somehow pulled of a miracle and got promoted to the championship. then we would need a new team and sorry to say a new manager or we would be right back where we are now. blind loyalty will only take us so far.

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