Bradford win 'sweeter' after 2016 loss – Millwall keeper

JORDAN Archer said the “hurt” of last year’s play-off final loss made Saturday’s win over Bradford “that extra bit sweeter”.

Archer was inspirational as he kept a clean sheet a year after Neil Harris’ side were beaten 3-1 by Barnsley.

They recovered and came through a turbulent season, just Harris’ second in charge, and Archer praised “old man” Steve Morison for his Wembley winner.

“The hurt of last year, it makes today that extra bit sweeter,” Archer said. “We’ve been using that all season to drive us on and it’s paid off.”

“The boys are over the moon. The old man has popped up again and scored for us. He’s done well throughout the season, and has popped up in big games as well.

“The boys dug in deep and we kept a clean sheet against a good Bradford team.”

Archer saved arguably his best performance of the season for the final, saving from James Meredith in the first half after producing a superb one-handed stop to deny Billy Clarke.

“I was waiting for him to take a heavy touch and he took one and I just came out and spread myself,” Archer said. “I was thankful to get a fingertip on it.

“To get a clean sheet and to win in the 85th minute, the way we did, I was tempted to run up [to celebrate] but we still had five or so minutes left. The boys put their bodies on [the line] at the end and showed a lot of determination to see the job out.”

There were a tense five minutes of added-time, in the last of which Bantams defender Tony McMahon missed the target from a tight angle inside the box.

Archer said: “I kissed the post – I’m sure it hit the post.

“The team spirit has been unreal. The manager deserves a lot of credit for [Saturday]. He has a lot of experience and a lot of young players, he’s selected his squad very carefully. We’ve got a great bunch. The young boys feed off the older boys.

“It was a game of few chances and we knew at the start of the game whoever was clinical enough to take those chances would win. And Steve Morison was there for us.”

Image: Millwall FC 

John Kelly