Millwall boss backs VAR – and reckons Lions would be closer to top six with it this season

NEIL Harris has given his backing to the VAR (video assistant referee) system – and claimed Millwall would be close to the top six had it been in place this season.

VAR was used for the first time in a high-profile game last week in the first leg of the League Cup semi-final between Chelsea and Arsenal, when referee Martin Atkinson consulted it twice to check two incidents.

Millwall have seen a number of contentious decisions go against them this season, the latest last weekend when Lee Gregory scored against Preston from an onside position but the linesman had put up his flag.

Gregory had a goal ruled out against Brentford earlier this season, while Steve Morison saw a seemingly legitimate strike chalked off at Nottingham Forest on the opening day.

Millwall also felt two red cards this campaign – for Gregory and Jed Wallace – were wrong calls, leading to three-match bans for both.

Last Saturday, Harris said Ben Pearson should have been given a second yellow card.

“It’s a must and it showed in the cup game last week how it worked,” Harris said. “I’m not sure of the ins and outs and whether it would have affected Saturday’s refereeing decisions.

“I’m 100 per cent sure if VAR had been in operation from the start of the Championship this season we’d be a lot closer to the play-offs.

“You go through spells as a club, and we’ve had a horrendous spell with refereeing decisions. It looked like it was just going okay before Saturday.

“They are fine lines. Could it have been a red card? Yes. Was Lee onside? Yes. He was at least two yards onside and it’s a really poor decision by the linesman.

“The game changes in those moments. If you get one of them, you’re either playing against ten men and you win the game, or you’re 2-0 up and you win the game. To get one out of the two would have been a bonus. To get neither was disappointing.”

Image: Millwall FC 

John Kelly