Millwall boss determined to rub salt in Birmingham's wounds after Aston Villa defeat

NEIL Harris wants his side to give Birmingham City a rough ride at The Den on Wednesday following Blues’ weekend defeat at rivals Aston Villa.

Garry Monk’s Birmingham have conceded 10 goals in their three league games, and face a Lions side that has won three and drawn one of their last four at home.

Asked if The Den was not the ideal place for an opponent coming off the back of a demoralising 4-2 derby loss, Harris said: “Let’s hope so.”

He added: “We’ve got to make it as uncomfortable as possible for Birmingham on the back of a defeat against their local rivals. I’m sure they’ll have put that to bed and come out fighting.

“What we’ve got to do is focus on the momentum we got in the second half at the weekend and take that positivity and all the clever play we had when we exploited that little area that was on the pitch, with Bolton sitting really deep with 10 men behind the ball constantly.

“To still get into the good areas was impressive from the players, we showed a different side to our game from playing direct to the strikers to being able to play through the lines and make chances.

“What we’ve got to realise is that when we get into good areas we’ve got to take up better positions in and around the penalty area. Too many times we got into good areas and didn’t quite have the nous there to make all the good play count.

“Having said that we scored a good goal, Lee Gregory had a header [disallowed] and we had one off the line after really good play. I said to the boys our anticipation in the penalty area needs to be better. But we have been scoring goals recently and that’s the pleasing thing.”

Harris watched the second city derby and is wary of Birmingham's attacking quality.

Harris said: “It was a very enjoyable game for the neutral, a lot of chances at both ends. Birmingham have been involved in some really good games recently for us to watch, but I’m sure Garry would be disappointed with the goal-scoring opportunities given up.

“They’re a real threat going forward and have a super front pair in [Che] Adams and [Lukas] Jukiewicz. They’re direct and very Millwall-like with and without the ball, and I mean that as a compliment to them, obviously. They’re a real handful to deal with. We’ll certainly have to be good defensively.

“They have conceded a lot of goals recently and it’s something they’ll be looking to address. Sunday they came up against a Villa side that’s rejuvenated under Dean [Smith] and I thought Villa were ruthless in and around the penalty area.”

Image: Millwall FC 

John Kelly