Millwall boss 'damning' of Lions' defending after Norwich strike twice for late win

NEIL Harris slammed Millwall’s “unacceptable” defending after seeing his side lead 3-2 in the 92nd minute against Norwich City at Carrow Road on Saturday afternoon but still lose 4-3.

Tom Elliott gave Millwall the lead in the 24th minute but Norwich equalised four minutes after half-time through Teemu Pukki.

Ben Amos then saved Pukki’s penalty but the Canaries went in front when Moritz Leitner found the bottom corner with 11 minutes left.

Ryan Leonard made it 2-2 in the 81st minute and Jed Wallace added a third two minutes later.

But Millwall conceded twice in added-time, first when Jordan Rhodes finished low past Amos before Pukki grabbed the winner in the 97th minute.

“If you were a neutral you would have loved it, if you were Daniel Farke you would be buzzing and as me, extremely disappointed with the lack of professionalism to see the game out,” Harris said.

“I can talk about positives, there were loads – scored three goals away from home, a couple of really good goals for us on the back of being poor with the ball at Brentford last weekend.

“Everything we talked about, everything we asked, they delivered.

“But you can’t comprehend the defensive display I have just seen: 3-2 up after 90 minutes, gone to a back five to help the defence as a unit and we have conceded two goals that, my daughter’s six-years-old and plays in the under-7s, if they conceded goals like that I would be disappointed.

“It’s a bit damming of my team, but I am the captain of the ship and take responsibility. But individuals have to hold their hands up and say that’s not acceptable.”

There was a hint of offside for Rhodes’ goal, but Harris said: “No, the defenders need to take up better positions.”

Harris, though, wasn’t convinced about the decision to give a penalty against Murray Wallace for handball.

The Lions boss said: “I have seen it back. I don’t even know what the rule is, I have got to be honest. He slides in to block the shot and his arm is above his head, but it’s only about a foot off the floor when the ball hits him.

“Is it an unnatural position? I don’t know what an unnatural position is when you’re sliding in. What I was more disappointed about is that I stopped my watch at six minutes 35 seconds when six minutes went up on the board.

"The referee said it’s because it was for Ben Amos time wasting."

Millwall conceded the fourth goal after Norwich had defended a corner deep into injury-time, but Harris dismissed the suggestion his side could have held possession rather than crossing it.

He said: "No, because we are the best team in the league at corners and it was an opportunity to win the game.

"The second goal is a really good strike, a bending strike off the post and in the far corner, but the other three goals were avoidable.

"It’s a disappointed changing room, but it’s their changing room. Don’t be disappointed, don’t make the mistakes. It’s their responsibility.

"We find ourselves in a position very similar to last year in terms of points total, games played, disappointed not winning games or getting points from games when we should do. We have to find a way mentally, physically and professionally to see those games out. And today unfortunately as a group it wasn’t good enough."

 Image: Millwall FC 

John Kelly