Harris warns Millwall players to raise standards or risk being left out at Forest

NEIL Harris has warned that some of the players involved in the 1-0 defeat at Barnet on Saturday are in danger of missing out for the Championship opener at Nottingham Forest in just under two weeks.

John Akinde scored a first-half winner for the League Two side at The Hive Stadium on Saturday and deservedly saw out the game to claim the win.

Harris left a number of first-team players, including summer recruits Jed Wallace, George Saville and Tom Elliott, behind to train at Calmont Road and they will start at Stevenage on Tuesday evening.

Akinde took advantage of a Millwall defence pressed high up to the pitch to beat Jordan Archer and give his side the lead in the 18th minute.

Akinde had several other chances to extend the lead, and missed a one-on-one with substitute goalkeeper Tom King early in the second half.

Millwall’s best chance for an equaliser came in the 38th minute when Jamie Stephens made an impressive double stop to keep out Steve Morison and then Shane Ferguson.

Harris wasn’t happy with Millwall’s performance against Rossi Eames' side and warned the players will have to pick up their standards with just two pre-season fixtures remaining before the trip to the City Ground.

“I was a bit disappointed today, results have no bearing on the league season but they are important,” Harris said.

“We want to score goals and keep clean sheets, but we gave away a really poor goal today. We defended today like a League One side last year. The standards have risen this year and I won’t accept that.

“Our use of the ball was really poor, especially in the final third, we were sloppy and looked laboured.

“I thought the mentality was possibly wrong today. They came with a pre-season mentality, we saw it last year and the year before.

“Pre-season can be difficult because you work with an intensity for so many days, then you back off leading up to a game and it’s hard for them to raise it again.

“The sooner we get into a league season and get into a routine the better.

“I wouldn’t say we were complacent. Today was about amassing minutes and it will be a different team on Tuesday and they will amass minutes. You’ll see a much closer line-up to my starting line-up against Forest next Saturday against Granada.

“Unfortunately some of the players today won’t be near that.”

Image: Millwall FC 

John Kelly