Millwall boss after Stoke defeat: 'We've got three games that will make or break our season'

MILLWALL boss Neil Harris revealed he told his side they didn’t get what they deserved after their 1-0 defeat at Stoke City on Saturday.

Saido Berahino scored the only goal of the game in the second half as Millwall went an eighth game without a win.

Harris also thought his side should have been given a penalty at The Britannia Stadium.

“I thought Stoke were better with the ball than us, they’re a possession-based team, good players are going to have the ball,” Harris said.

“Jordan [Archer] makes a save first half, second half one contact in our penalty area and the ball ends up in our net.

“We should have scored early, Coops [Jake Cooper] should have scored with a header, we should have had a penalty. I thought on the balance of play, chances created, we should have got something from the game.

“I thought it was a really strong performance from us.

“Winning games is the business we’re in. It’s my job to make the players realise when they play well and they don’t. And I’ve said to them downstairs that that was an excellent away performance that deserved more than it got.

“That’s the level of performance we’ve got to put in next week, because we’ve got three games that are going to make or break our season.

“Two huge games at home, Reading is a real six-pointer at this stage of the season. Then Forest, then Ipswich away and another six-pointer.

“We’ve got to take the level of the second half against Preston, that performance there and the ability and confidence we’ve shown into two home games.”

Harris compared the Lions’ penalty claim to the spot-kick Sheffield United were given in their 3-2 win at The Den in September.

Harris said: “I’ve watched it from two different angles and Lee not once takes his eye off the ball. He gets himself in a position to bring the ball down. The defender is looking at the ball also but goes into the back of him. Anywhere else on the pitch, [or] in our penalty area, the referee jumps to give it.

“Against Sheffield United earlier in the season we conceded a late penalty to lose the game. Shaun Williams does exactly the same as that and the referee gives the decision. The ref’s got to be better, he’s got to be stronger.”

Almost 1,500 Millwall fans made the trip north. “I thought they were class,” Harris added. “I think they’ve seen a strong Millwall performance, but I understand a little bit of frustration because they want to win games as well.

“To see their team play against a quality outfit like Stoke, who are just getting better and better all the time, I think they would have been proud of the performance.”

Image: Millwall FC 

John Kelly