Former Lions hard man hails Millwall boss Harris

FORMER Lions legend Terry Hurlock praised the job manager Neil Harris has done in rebuilding Millwall. 

Hurlock, who played in the only Millwall side ever to reach the top division in England, was at The Den last Sunday to see Harris score a hat-trick in a charity game.

Harris has taken Millwall to the League One play-off final for the second successive year in his second full season in charge.

Harris had to rebuild the squad in the summer of 2015, and has put his own stamp on a side, making it recognisable as having the same qualities as the ones Hurlock played in.

"The manager has done really well," Hurlock said. "He's got them all playing with togetherness. They were unlucky last year but battled on this season. They have a chance again to do it this year.

"The pressure isn't too much on them this year. The confidence must be high after their recent wins. If they can bring that out at Wembley they have a good chance.

"It took a little bit of turning around. Neil had to get rid of a few people and bring a few in. You have to be cool in the battle when you're managing a side with a lot of young players. Neil has that.

"Neil also knew you needed that bond between the teams and the fans. We all know what the fans are like here. When there's a little bit of success you can't beat it.

"We've had a few difficult years but they're still here, still shouting and screaming. If you get these on your side it's like you're already 1-0 up."

Hurlock, 58, won the club's player of the year award in 1988-89, Millwall's first season in the top flight.

He left to go to Rangers before returning to Millwall briefly in 1994. Hurlock played in some high-pressure games, and believes the players involved against Bradford at Wembley on Saturday will be able to handle the occasion.

"I didn't really get a lot of nerves," he said. "You get used to it when you get older.

"I played in big games, for Rangers against Celtic and with Millwall when we went up to the old First Division.

"If you've got a good squad and a manager who motivates you, you just go out there and try your hardest and do your best. Millwall have got that at the moment."

Image: Millwall FC 

John Kelly