Millwall manager assesses impact of new signings

NEIL Harris admitted Lee Gregory’s first goal this season “takes a bit of pressure off” the striker – but he was pleased with his contribution before Saturday’s win over Norwich City.

Gregory scored the opening goal in the 4-0 win over the Canaries – on the day he turned 29 years of age.

The assist came from Steve Morison, who has yet to open his season’s account but who was in dominant form against his former club at the weekend.

Morison was the Lions’ top scorer last season, after Gregory topped the charts the campaign before.

“He’s scored so many goals for me,” Harris said of Gregory. “However well he’s played, and he’s played fantastically well in the first four games, getting that first goal really takes a bit of pressure off.

“Steve Morison was involved in a lot of the goals, he’s an unselfish player who doesn’t need goals to have momentum or good performances. He understands his role and the game itself.

“I was delighted for my goal scorers and delighted we scored from a set-piece as well.”

Millwall have a weekend off with the latest round of international fixtures, and that gives Harris time to assess his side’s start to the season.

New signings George Saville – who has scored two goals since his summer move from Wolves – Jed Wallace, Conor McLaughlin and James Meredith have settled quickly to become first-team regulars.

The other new summer recruits – Tom Elliott, Jake Cooper and Ryan Tunicliffe – are pushing for regular spots.

Harris is pleased with how well his new players have contributed.

He said: “Some are in the starting XI, some are coming off the bench and making an impact. People like Jake Cooper have to be patient now.

“It’s a squad game for us. They’re being pushed every day by the players behind, they know they can’t step off or their place will be gone.

“If their place goes they might struggle to get back in. That’s the level of competition we want. It’s not a Fifa game where you can rotate the players all the time win or lose. We have to have a structure and a discipline. We have to have a work ethic.

“The biggest thing for me is the work ethic, the drive and the hunger.

“When you’ve got that determination and spirt as an individual it drives everyone on. That makes my life easier.”

Image: Millwall FC 

John Kelly