Harris pays tribute to Millwall legend Abdou – and explains striker absence

MILLWALL boss Neil Harris was pleased with a much-improved performance from his side – as he paid tribute to Jimmy Abdou after Saturday's friendly win over VfL Bochum.

Abdou wore the captain's armband as he played the first five minutes at The Den before going off to a standing ovation.

George Saville came on and the Lions saw off the German second-tier side thanks to Jed Wallace's superb finish just before half-time.

Millwall lost to Colchester 2-1 last Tuesday, but looked much more in tune a week before the start of the 2018-19 Championship season against Middlesbrough.

"Colchester I wasn't chuffed with, I've got to be honest, it wasn't a good evening for us other than match minutes," Harris said.

"Today we played it like the occasion it was, a testimonial for Jimmy. I said to the players I wanted to do it right for Jimmy.

"It was the first time at The Den pre-season, places up for grabs. I told the players there would be a sprinkling of the team that's going to play on Saturday and it was down to them to grab the opportunity.

"I thought the performance was excellent, the fitness levels superb. It was the workout I expected.

"I saw that Bochum team beat Stoke a couple of weeks ago and they were outstanding. I thought their use of the ball and movement was top, top drawer. It was as good as we'll see in the Championship this year, but we looked disciplined and organised.

"The boys have worked hard over the last five weeks.

"Jimmy's not really emotional. I was really proud today for Jimmy. He was a great team-mate and it was a privilege to be his manager.

"It was great to have him in the dressing room. He was only on five minutes but I thought he looked excellent! Nothing changed for him, he looked in great shape and understands how we play.

"It was a really good day for him. It was about him having the opportunity to say thank you to people, for the support he's had over the years. It was a good send-off for him."

Meanwhile, Lee Gregory was absent from Millwall's match-day squad as his wife has gone into labour.

Harris said: "We wish her all the best and hopefully get some news soon.

John Kelly