Millwall boss identifies key to QPR resurgence – and expects 'great atmosphere' at Loftus Road

MILLWALL's Neil Harris believes the additions of strikers Tomer Hemed and Nahki Wells to QPR's squad has helped turn around their season after a poor start.

Hemed joined on season-long loan from Brighton and Wells on the same terms from Burnley after the Hoops had lost their opening four league games and conceded 13 goals.

Since they joined to form a strike partnership, Steve McLaren's side have won two of their last three in the Championship and drawn the other.

Harris is an admirer of former England boss McLaren.

"We played against Steve's Derby side a few years ago when we were still in interim charge [in 2014-15]. He's a fascinating guy and has a wealth of experience as a coach, including being national team manager," Harris said.

"We all look forward to the London derby. It's under the lights at Loftus Road, it'll be a great atmosphere. Our fans were fantastic there last year. It'll be the same again and we look forward to the occasion.

"QPR had a slow start in a transition period over the summer with finances dictating difficulties. But they've been able to go out and sign two expensive centre-forwards, and it's transformed their side.

"In their front three of four players they have huge ability and are always a danger. We need to make sure that we cope with them for 90, 96, 98 minutes, whatever it's going to be.

"We also know we're capable of hurting them going the other way."

QPR, under Ian Holloway, came back from two goals down after Lee Gregory's sending-off in the corresponding fixture last season.

Conor McLaughlin gave Millwall the lead in the corresponding fixture last season, which ended in a 2-2 draw.

Millwall haven't won in four league games, but Harris is confident after Saturday's 1-1 draw at home to league leaders Leeds that his side are close to putting a winning run together.

"That performance was coming," Harris said. "If you're not going to get that type of performance against a Leeds or Aston Villa or QPR away then you're never going to get it.

"I was really proud of the players. Individually and collectively I thought they were excellent.

"They put so much into the couple of weeks before, and the guys who were away [on international duty] were successful. I thought the performance merited three points.

"A 25-yard shot in the last few minutes goes past five blue shirts, we hit the inside of the post again, that's three times now Tom Elliott has hit the post late on after Sheffield Wednesday, Swansea and now Leeds.

"We've had these spells before and we'll come out the other side of it. You come out of it by working hard and sticking to your game plan.

"The boys have been fantastic. They were disappointed afterwards, of course they were. We take solace from the fact that we've played four very good sides at home this season and should have 12 points. That will change when we get the rub of the green and when we play lesser sides."

Image: Millwall FC 

John Kelly