Millwall boss: 'Ryan Leonard is not George Saville – he has got different attributes'

MILLWALL manager Neil Harris praised Ryan Leonard’s composure as the Lions’ record signing scored his first goal for the club.

Leonard lobbed home from the edge of the area to make it 3-0 after Ipswich goalkeeper Bartosz Bialkowski had punched away Shane Ferguson’s cross.

Leonard was bought as George Saville’s replacement on transfer deadline day and has fitted seamlessly into Millwall’s midfield.



“Yes, really pleased for him,” Harris said. “Ryan Leonard is not George Saville and he is not going to ever be George Saville, ever, in his career. He has got different attributes. But, in the way we play, our central midfield players will get chances, will get licence to run forward, roam and get shooting opportunities and opportunities from crosses and things.

“He has been very close. He was very close in the first half, a chest and volley. It would have been an outstanding goal – right up there with the goals of the season if he had scored that one.

But, good composure for the goal and it will give him a load of confidence. He has got one, Shaun [Williams] has got four, Ryan [Tunnicliffe] has got one away at Sheffield Wednesday. It is important that people are chipping in with goals. We can’t just rely on Lee Gregory, Tom Elliott, Steve Morison and Tom Bradshaw. We have to score goals from all over the park.”



Lee Gregory scored a brace before he was substituted.

Harris added: “You could say he was a little but frustrated to come off. But that’s the character he is, he wants to play.

“But I wanted to get Tom Bradshaw on the pitch. Tom has been starved of minutes due to Lee’s form and I just felt it was an opportunity, with Lee getting a knock in the first half.

“You can leave somebody on and give them the opportunity to get maybe that third goal, but you also give them the opportunity to get injured and I didn’t want that. I wanted to give the opportunity to Tom to get some minutes at The Den.”

Image: Millwall FC 

John Kelly

(@jkelly1882)