Millwall boss praises goalkeeper after Rovers heroics

MILLWALL manager Neil Harris praised Jordan Archer after the goalkeeper’s exceptional performance at Blackburn – and was also pleased with his team for digging out a point after a below-par second-half display.

Archer saved two one-on-ones from Blackburn striker Danny Graham and also produced an excellent save to keep out Bradley Dack’s free-kick.

Millwall could have been in front before the break but both George Saville and Steve Morison saw shots some back off the woodwork.

Harris sent on Jiri Skalak for Aiden O’Brien with 18 minutes left in a bid to break the deadlock, but his side had to settle for a draw.

The Lions have lost just three league games out of 23 this year, after their first scoreless draw in 19 league games.

“I thought we were good for 40 minutes, no real problems, we used the ball quite wisely at times, we were productive. We hit the post twice and had a couple of shots go just wide,” Harris said.

“I thought if we could get the first one it would be a really positive afternoon. We spoke at half-time about denying Blackburn opportunities. We did well first half to deny them but second half we came out and it went out the window a little bit.

“Blackburn were a little bit better in the basics than us, for whatever reason. There was certainly no lack of effort from the players, as ever. But 50-50 challenges didn’t go our way, the ball dropped to their player constantly. Blackburn played well second half, we never got going, our use of the ball was really poor.

“When we were defending like we were then you have to rely on keeping the ball, and I thought the turnover of possession was too often from us. That’s unlike us.

“When it’s like that and it’s not quite happening for you then you need to get a clean sheet. You get various ways to keep a clean sheet. You can limit opportunities but if you do give opportunities away then you need your goalkeeper. And our goalkeeper was excellent.

“He was certainly our best player today. They had some good strong performances. But Jordan was man of the match for me, definitely. The two close-up [saves] were really good because he’s facing a really good striker in Danny Graham.

"A strong team, a good dressing room get a point today at Blackburn on that second-half performance. I think a weak-mentality team who aren’t quite at it get beaten.

“So I’m really pleased with the dressing-room mentality and that we got a clean sheet.”

Meanwhile, Fred Onyedinma was left out of the match-day squad, with Shane Ferguson on the bench instead and coming on with a minute to go for Jed Wallace. Harris explained: "[Onyedinma] travelled with us, I just decided to change the bench up."

Rovers boss Tony Mowbray added: “I thought it was a fair result. It was a scrappy game, and credit to Millwall who made it difficult for us. The second half was more of what we’re about, and there were positives to take.

“We should have more than two points [from the opening two games] but we’ll look forward to the next game now.”

Image: Millwall FC