Millwall's Harris: 'Fred has all the ability in the world – and we've got to nurture him'

NEIL Harris believes Fred Onyedinma offers Millwall a number of attacking options across the forward line.

Onyedinma, 20, started up front with Tom Elliott against Stevenage on Tuesday night before an injury to Jake Cooper forced Harris into a change of personnel.

When Lee Gregory came on, Onyedinma switched to the left of midfield, before he changed flanks with David Worrall in the second half and set up the first of Elliott’s two goals in Millwall’s 2-0 win.

Harris didn’t want to overly praise his young attacker afterwards, pointing out that he chose the wrong option in the first half after initially doing well to reach Tom King’s long clearance before attempting to combine with Shane Ferguson.

But Harris was excited with the variety of Onyedinma’s display.

“Fred’s got the ability to play up front, right side, left side, as a 10,” Harris said. “There were two things that summed up Fred in terms of where he is at at his age. In the first half he could have cut in and shot when Fergie took the man away. Fred probably made the wrong decision trying to pass it to him.

“And in the second half he made two outstanding contributions, one for the goal and one when he should have scored himself. He shows those moments of quality but moments of naivety and rawness as well. That’s the beauty of him, he’s got all the ability in the world and we’ve got to nurture him.

“He has shown in pre-season, last year and [Tuesday night] at times that his pace and power up front is really hard to deal with. He also showed his ability in the wide areas and I thought the last half hour his movement and his link-up play was outstanding.”

Image: Millwall FC 

John Kelly