Millwall boss hits out at Rochdale fans

NEIL Harris criticised Rochdale fans after their side’s 1-0 win over Millwall prompted a pitch invasion as a number of home supporters goaded visiting fans and players.

After Ian Henderson scored the only goal of the game to send Dale through to the fifth round of the FA Cup, a number of the Spotland crowd entered the pitch at the final whistle to congratulate their own players, but then moved towards the Lions fans as stewards struggled to deal with the situation.

Millwall captain Steve Morison then appeared to plead with Rochdale fans to leave the pitch, before he was taunted by one individual and had to be led away by a steward as he refused to be drawn into a confrontation.

Before he did his post-match interviews, Harris also appeared to be abused by some home fans, with the Millwall manager responding, ‘if you’ve got something to say, say it to my face’.

Harris was unhappy with how events unfolded at the end of the game.

“I thought Rochdale fans were a disgrace at the end, I’ve got to be honest,” he said. “I’m not going to stand here as a Millwall manager and complain about a fanbase, but the way it was managed at the end – our fans were goaded, my players were treated very badly and then me and my staff were abused face-to-face – isn’t quite right.

“But that’s life, no complaints from us, we just crack on.”

Millwall were below par against their League One opponents, who deservedly went in front early in the second half and then relatively comfortably protected their lead on an awful pitch.

Harris had “no complaints” with the result against Keith Hill’s side.

“I can blame the pitch for the lack of quality in the game, the lack of chances, the lack of composure,” he said. “But first and foremost congratulations to Keith and to Rochdale, over the two games they probably just about deserved to beat us.

“It’s a disappointment for us in the sense we’ve got beaten by a lower league team, but no disgrace getting beaten here by Rochdale. They got to grips with the surface better than us.

“There was no lack of effort from us, we were a little naïve at times maybe in the way to play on the pitch and some of the players didn’t perform to the best of their ability.

“I’d hate to see the stats, they’ll be horrendous for both teams.

“Sometimes you’ve just got to say hats off to the opponent, we weren’t quite good enough. The surface certainly was to blame for the quality of the game, but no complaints.”

Image: Millwall FC 

John Kelly