Millwall boss on Lions fans: 'They stuck with us – I'm really proud'

MILLWALL manager Neil Harris highlighted the importance of Lions fans’ input after seeing his side turn around a half-time deficit against Wigan.

Millwall dominated most of the first half but fell behind through Jed Wallace’s own goal in injury-time.

Wigan were then given a penalty in the 58th minute, only for Josh Windass to blow that chance to move his side two goals ahead when he blasted over Ben Amos’ crossbar.

Less than 60 seconds later, substitute Aiden O’Brien was bundled over in the box and Shaun Williams succeeded where Windass had failed.

And Millwall fully capitalised on their let-off when another substitute, Steve Morison, slotted in the winner with eight minutes left.

“The game changed on the penalties, didn’t it? Let’s be honest,” Harris said. “First half I thought we were the better team. Some of the play going forward was outstanding, but we were nearly men first half. We nearly got on the end of the cross, we nearly picked up a second ball on the edge of the box, we nearly scored. We nearly hit the target.

“You’ve got your half-time team talk – positive, excited – and we concede another really bizarre goal on the stroke of half-time and you think, ‘what more can go against you?’ Rather than panic about it, we decided to make a tactical change, be more attack-minded, get Fergie [Shane Ferguson] a bit deeper against their 3-5-2, put Aiden on, who is a goal scorer.

“I said to the boys, ‘when you’re trailing here at half-time, it’s a tough place to come back’. The fans stuck with the players, which is outstanding, really proud of the fans.

“We started on the front foot second half. We had a right go and it was really positive and I thought here we go, it’s a matter of time before we get the goal. And then we concede a penalty, another one. If you’re 2-0 down it’s tough at this level. The boy misses and two minutes later we get one.

“Shaun Williams: composure, class, class penalty. My gut feeling was we were going to go and win the game.”

Harris also praised the impact of his subs.

He said: “Tom Elliott was tiring. When you have Stevie Morison – he’s trained really well the last couple of weeks – warming up, excited to come on, you’re thinking this could be his night.

"He was in the right place at the right time. That’s the importance of subs in the modern game, finishers. The game is so fast now that everyone can’t keep going for 90 minutes time and time again.

“Aiden was disappointed not to start the game, he’s an international footballer now and wants to play. Moro knows his role as the captain of this club. He knows his importance from that start or at the finish. Both of them had a good impact on the game.”

Harris was asked if the outcome of the two penalties could be a turning point in the season.

“Quite possibly, only time will tell with that. I think I’m being calm with my answer and methodical. Only time will tell.

“In this game you need luck, you need moments, key decisions from referees, big moments from players. The two penalties, they could be. We’ve been on a bad run, we’ve had horrendous luck, but we’ve now got seven points from four games, which is a huge return for our club at this level.

“It’s two home wins in a row, four excellent performances in a row. We go from being a little bit down in the dumps at half-time to being really positive again. We have to carry that momentum into Saturday and a massive game against Ipswich.”

Image: Millwall FC

John Kelly