Millwall boss Harris: 'The connection between the fans and players is phenomenal'

NEIL Harris believes the "connection" between Millwall fans and players would be the envy of a lot of clubs in the Championship.

Millwall supporters ensured the three home stands at The Den were sold out on Friday, and they were rewarded as they saw their side go a goal up through Shaun Williams 29 seconds in against Nottingham Forest, before Lee Gregory added a second and they defended belligerently in the second half to win for the seventh time in eight games.

Millwall are a point of fifth place in the Championship and haven't lost in the league since a 2-1 defeat at Norwich City on New Year's Day.

"The Norwich performance was my fault, and if I was angry afterwards I was angry with myself, not the players," Harris admitted. "We got beat because I picked the wrong team. I'm learning all the time as well.

"I'm proud of the players, what they are achieving at the moment. I'm proud of them individually and collectively. Individually they're great lads.

"You can see the passion they play with on the pitch. And the connection between the players on the pitch and the fans at this football club is phenomenal at the moment. There are a lot of clubs in this division who would like to have that connection.

"I'll only be disappointed if my players don't perform to the best of their ability. If the best of their ability is a top-six finish, then great. If it's not, then it's not. I don't think anyone can say that any of my players aren't playing to the best of their abilities at the moment.

"The team is playing, for the majority of games, to the best of their ability, but I'd still like improvement. We're finding a way of getting the best out of each other. That's all I ask, that's all I promise players when I sign them, that I will try to get the best out of you in a Millwall shirt.

"Little things please me – sold-out home seats today for the first time in a league game in a long time. That's massively important. The fans have come to watch their Millwall team, to watch a Millwall team be successful. It doesn't get much better than that here."

One supporter at The Den on Friday is a fan of a Lions favourite.

The Lions go to Ipswich on Monday, and Harris has to decide whether to pick the same team for the eighth time in nine games or freshen his side up.

Harris said: "There will be very limited training for the players that have played. I've got to pick a team on Monday to focus on the opposition but also to make sure is fresh.

"I've made one change to my starting line-up in eight games, Tom Elliott started for Steve Morison at Hull. Now might be a time to make those changes, we will have to see.

"We will give the players the opportunity to recover. Birmingham play Ipswich [Saturday] so Ipswich have 24 hours less recovery time than us."

Image: Millwall FC 

John Kelly