Millwall wanted to sign Blackburn Rovers midfielder when he was at Gillingham

NEIL Harris has revealed that Millwall were interested in signing Bradley Dack two years ago – but they couldn’t afford him.

Dack, now with this Saturday’s opponents Blackburn Rovers, was Gillingham’s top scorer in 2015-16 in League One with 13 goals, including one in a 3-0 win at The Den.

Millwall watched midfielder Dack that season, but his increasingly brilliant form moved him out of the Lions’ financial reach, with Bristol City reportedly having a £2million bid for him turned down.

Dack, 24, didn’t hit the same heights the following season as Gillingham just about survived relegation to League Two.

He moved to Tony Mowbray’s Blackburn last summer for an initial fee of £750,000 and was their top league scorer with 18 goals as they finished second to clinch promotion.

Blackburn this week also signed striker Adam Armstrong on a permanent deal from Newcastle.

Armstrong, 21, scored twice against Millwall in a 4-0 win for Mowbray’s Coventry at The Den in the second game of the 2015-16 season.

“They’re two excellent players,” Harris said. “Bradley Dack is a player I’ve admired for a long time. He’s a player that can play comfortably in the Championship if not higher.

“He’s a player that we talked about as a recruitment team a couple of years ago but we just weren’t in a position to be able to buy him. He’s got natural ability.

“Adam Armstrong is a talented goalscorer, and they’ve got quality all over the squad, young players and senior players. Danny Graham is still a handful at this level, they’ve got goal threats from all over the park.

“It is going to be a challenge, but it’s a good one for us. It will be interesting because both teams conceded in injury-time at the weekend.

“We both could have started with three points but Tony, like myself, was probably delighted to get a point on the board.”

Both sides had identical results last Saturday, Millwall drawing 2-2 at home to Middlesbrough and Rovers denied a win at Ipswich.

“It’s a tough first away game for us,” Harris said. “The teams that come up, like us last year, start full of confidence and excitement, you get the crowd right behind you.

“We have to make sure we’re ready for that. We have to make sure we play as well as we did for 87 minutes against Boro for the 90 or 96 or whatever it’s going to be.

“I really enjoyed watching us last Saturday, I really enjoyed the atmosphere in the stadium and I thought it was an excellent performance.

“The second half of the season on the road last year, we have to make sure we start like that this year.

“Blackburn have got some very talented players, they’re very good going forward and deserved to get out of the division last year.

“And, really, them and Wigan were Championship teams playing in League One, so they’re ready for this league straightaway. It’s a tough first away game but we’re going to have 23 tough away games this year.”

Image: Action Plus

John Kelly