Harris delighted with Millwall response as Bristol City hang on for draw

NEIL Harris was pleased with how his side responded to the defeat by Ipswich on Tuesday after their 0-0 draw at Bristol City.

Millwall kept their first clean sheet in the league this season after conceding four goals from four shots on target against the Tractor Boys.

Harris was critical of the performance against Mick McCarthy’s side, but gave the same starting line-up the chance to atone for it at Ashton Gate.

"I’d like to think over the course of my two-and-half years in charge that I’ve trusted people and shown faith in people and given them an opportunity," Harris said.

"I was scathing of the performance the other night, I was angry and frustrated with our game management, but there was so much good about the game. We were absolutely excellent against Ipswich but still gave four goals away, which was crazy.

"I wanted to give the players the same opportunity, and it’s not about the goalkeeper and defenders when you concede four, it’s about the whole team. The organisation, discipline, the reading of the game today I thought was first class.

"What we had the other night, that little bit of quality in front of goal, we missed today.

"When we get the full package we’ll be a really good team at this level."

Both sides hit the woodwork in the second half on Saturday, the Robins’ left-back Joe Bryan striking the crossbar before, with seven minutes left, Lions substitute Tom Elliott hit the post with a header.

In injury-time, another substitute, Fred Onyedinma, wriggled through in the box but goalkeeper Frank Fielding saved his low shot and George Saville’s effort from the rebound was blocked.

Lee Johnson’s side had scored six goals in the first 20 minutes of their first four games of the season, but it was Millwall who took the game to their opponents and Harris’ side are unfortunate to be on just two points from four games.

“Bristol City had scored the first goal in all four games this season, and started really well in all the games,” Harris said. “We knew we had to be on the front foot and be ready for the challenge.

“I thought the performance from the players today was excellent. It was very good in how we delivered the game plan. Bristol City want to pass the ball and get between lines.

“Ultimately, I’ve got a dressing room that’s proud of the performance and pleased with the clean sheet but disappointed not to get three points.

“I thought we got stronger as the game went on. My subs made a really good impact. Both teams had a go to win the game. Barring the keeper’s save and a brilliant block we would have got three points.

“City hit the bar during the second half but we’ve hit the post and I thought we could have been a little bit more composed on the counter attack.

“To come here and get a point with a really good performance is pleasing.

“We were much better at Forest when we should have won the game. We played very well against Ipswich on Tuesday night but got beaten 4-3 in the last minute. We learned a lot of lessons from that, some harsh lessons in Championship football. We managed the game better today and I thought it was a very professional performance.

“We just missed that end product. I’ve made my players a promise that it won’t be like this all season. If we play the same way the next four games we’ll pick up wins.

“We’ve been excellent so far this season but have only got two draws from it.”

Image: Millwall FC 

John Kelly