Harris takes positives from Millwall loss at Reading

NEIL Harris insisted there were “loads of positives” despite Millwall’s extra-time exit from the EFL Cup against Reading on Tuesday night.

Millwall came from behind after Leandro Bacuna had given the Royals a 34th-minute lead to level when Shane Ferguson’s deflected shot went in three minutes later.

But Reading struck late in each half of the additional period through George Evans and Sam Smith to advance to the third round.

“The third goal we had gone to three at the back and three up front trying to get back in the game, we were always going to leave space,” Harris said.

“That’s cup football, so no complaints.

“I was delighted with the team’s effort. There were some players who looked a little bit rusty who haven’t played a lot of football.

“We made 10 changes to freshen things up and it took us a good 30 to 35 minutes to get into the swing of the game.

“Reading dominated possession without really hurting us. When Shane Ferguson scored it really changed the complexion of the game and I thought we were excellent in the second half.

“I named the team at the hotel before we left, just before we got on the coach. We didn’t really work on anything leading into the game and it probably showed in the first half in particular.

“We adjusted slightly at half-time, got some messages to the players and their response was outstanding.

“In the second half we played a lot more on the front foot and we were a lot more aggressive without the ball to win it back.

“We showed some real patience at times to draw Reading onto us and get them on the counter attack.

“We could have used the ball a little bit better on the counter attack and been better at set-plays.

“But there were loads of positives. I really enjoyed the second-half display.”

John Kelly