MILLWALL have achieved their goal of 50 points this season after beating Hull – but Lions boss Neil Harris insisted: “My players won’t switch off.”
Millwall’s 2-1 win at the KCOM Stadium on Tuesday night moves them to 52 points, and Harris stressed they want to get to the next target, 60, as quickly as possible.
The Lions made the perfect start against the Tigers when George Saville scored inside 50 seconds, his eighth goal this season.
Jake Cooper doubled the lead in the 33rd minute when he connected with Ben Marshall’s corner to send a looping effort over Allan McGregor.
Substitute Abel Hernandez made it a nervy finish for the visitors with a goal 11 minutes from the end, but Millwall hung on against Nigel Adkins' side to move back to within six points of the top six.
“You don’t get a much better start as an away team than that,” Harris said. “I asked my players to impose themselves on the game, ask questions of Hull to see if they could live with our physicality.
“We saw the answer to that in the first minute. It was a typical Millwall goal, hustle and bustle but some real quality as well. It was a really strong away performance.
“I looked at Hull’s team and thought, ‘that’s not bad’. They’ve got some top players in their squad who weren’t involved at all. We knew it was going to be a tough challenge.
“At times when we thought they could put us under pressure in the second half we managed the game really well. Being able to bring on Tim Cahill and Stevie Morison was vital as well.
“Once you’ve made your subs – and me and Nigel had both made our subs before the 70th-odd minute – there isn’t a lot you can do as a manager, you’ve just got to let your players get on with it. Sometimes you feel a little bit helpless standing there and you can’t do much. You have say, ‘over to you guys’.
“I thought they were outstanding, five away wins in a row is a big achievement for us in this league.
“It’s still a long way away, we’ve still got to win a lot of games. But my players are confident, they go into every game thinking they can win. We’ve shown we’re a match for anyone and that we’ve got some really good players.
“More importantly, we have shown we have spirit and there’s a game plan behind what we do, the players buy into it. I can’t give them any more credit than I’ve given them over the last few weeks.
“We go into Saturday against Brentford, and they’re talking about chasing the play-offs. They’re only a point above us, so it probably says there is an outside chance we’re going to go for it.
“We’ve got 10 games left. I said to the boys the aim was to get to 50 points. A lot of people, maybe some of you guys, a lot of people in the press wrote us off, saying we’d be bottom of the league.
“To get to where we are with 10 games to go, five away wins in a row, is not a bad response from that team. I said to my players: ‘I want 60 points as quickly as possible and let’s see where that takes us.’
“They have earned the right to enjoy it. My players are hungry, they want to keep going. I’ve got players not in my squad who want to be in it, players wanting to be in the team. Tom Elliott showed that tonight.
“We’ve made progress in small steps and we’ve got to continue to do that.”
Meanwhile, Adkins was furious with his side’s display.
“It was the worst performance since I’ve been here,” he blasted. “It’s nowhere near good enough. You don’t have to deal with their physicality, you just have to pass the ball.
“We gifted them a goal and didn’t respond.”
Image: Millwall FC