Millwall boss praises 'outstanding' Amos saves – and knew Webster would score from spot

NEIL Harris said he knew Byron Webster scoring from the spot was a “foregone conclusion” after the centre-back fired in a spot-kick on his comeback in Millwall’s 3-1 win on penalties against Gillingham in the first round of the EFL Cup.

After a 0-0 draw in normal time, Jed Wallace saw his spot-kick saved by Tomas Holy, before Tom Elliott, Webster – playing for the first time since last September – and Shane Ferguson scored for the hosts.

Amos saved from Mark Byrne, Josh Parker fired over, before Amos brilliantly tipped Brandon Hanlan’s effort onto the post to seal his side’s win.

Harris praised the loan signing from Bolton for his shootout heroics.

“I thought he was good, he’s still finding his way,” Harris said. “He came in rusty when he joined us in pre-season but he showed his qualities tonight.

“In the way we play he’ll get better all the time. In his handling and the few amount of shots he had to deal with he did really well.

“And then the penalty saves were outstanding.

“[Webster] takes a very good penalty. He’s very thorough, when we have practised penalties in previous years before cup games he’s been outstanding.

“He can go either side and down the middle. He was always going to be a foregone conclusion for me as long as he was happy taking one.

“I’m very calm with it. I give them 30 seconds to decide who wants to take one. No blame culture. It’s their decision but if they do put their hand up I expect them to be calm and methodical with what they’re doing.

“Fortunately for me, seven players put their hand up wanting to take one. And then I make the decision about the five, and who would be sixth and seventh.”

Harris made 10 changes to the side that drew 0-0 at Blackburn in the league on Saturday and was asked what he took from tonight’s win.

He said: “Through to the next round of the Cup. Beat the local rivals, so bragging rights for our fans. There were some strong performances, but we lacked a little bit of cohesion at times and I certainly hold my hands up for that for throwing a team together with very limited time to work on it.

“I thought there was some really good play. We were patient at times, used the ball well and opened Gillingham up. Other times we looked a little bit rusty in our decision-making. Ultimately we got through to the second round and that’s what we came here for, to win 5-0 or scrape through on penalties, whatever way.

“I’m delighted with the clean sheet, there were some strong performances from my players and some real important minutes for the likes of Byron Webster and Jiri Skalak who hadn’t played a lot of football over the last 12 months.”

Image: Millwall FC

John Kelly