NEIL Harris said Millwall were not at their best against Ipswich on Saturday – but praised his side’s professionalism as they won for the third time in four games and kept a clean sheet in the league for the first time since August.
Lee Gregory scored twice and Ryan Leonard added his first goal for the club, against a demoralised Ipswich side with new boss Paul Lambert watching from the stands.
“It’s been due, hasn’t it, with the performances,” Harris said. “I’ve got to be honest, it wasn’t our best performance for a while, but I thought it was extremely professional. We could have played much better at 3-0 up, certainly, but I don’t give a damn about that.
“I wanted a clean sheet, the goalkeeper, defenders, the team wanted a clean sheet. It’s not easy for Ipswich, the position they’re in and the transition to a new manager. But it’s not easy for us either because you don’t know what formation you’re going to face. It’s tough for the players as well.
“Without being at our best I thought we were clinical at key moments, created chances though not as many as we have done, and to keep a clean sheet was an excellent performance in the Championship.”
Shaun Hutchinson captained the side on his first start since August, partnering Jake Cooper in the centre of defence with Murray Wallace at left-back instead of James Meredith, who was on the bench.
Harris said: “Hutch has been short of game time and with seven points in four games performances have been really good. You want to reward the players that are performing well.
“We hadn’t been getting clean sheets. Was it a coincidence? He’s a leader, he’s a good defender, he’s a warrior and it was a good one to come back into today.
“Murray has been outstanding for us over the last month or so. I didn’t really want to take him out of the team. James Meredith has had a long summer, and his performances haven’t quite been at the level they were week-in, week-out last year. He’s been a very, very good player for us and good defender.
“I’d seen Murray a lot at left-back last year and his use of the ball was very, very good. He’ll improve as he goes over the next year or two with us. He’s got fantastic delivery, he’s a very good crosser of the ball.
“I just felt it was the right time to bring Hutch back in and I didn’t want to leave Murray out. I put him at left-back and had a look at him there, and I was really pleased.”
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