Millwall boss: 'The atmosphere was fantastic – and we'll have a great following at Ipswich'

NEIL Harris said his players wouldn’t get “carried away” after successive wins – as he looked forward to the challenge of trying to get a first win on the road at Ipswich Town on New Year’s Day.

Ryan Tunnicliffe scored the only goal of the game with an overhead kick as the Lions defeated Nottingham Forest 1-0 at The Den on Saturday.

Millwall go to Paul Lambert’s bottom side for their first fixture of 2019.

“We won’t get carried away, we’re delighted with the six points but we could make it a great Christmas by going and getting our first victory on the road,” Harris said.

“It’s going to be a different game, Paul has galvanised the club and they’ve not had results but they’re having performances.

“They’re playing a lot of young players and it’s going to be a test for us. They’re almost playing with some freedom as well under him.

“We know it’s going to be a challenge but we’ll go with great confidence. My players will go with great belief after two great results in a short space of time.

“We’ve had great following this year. The fans on the road have been awesome, really got behind me and the players and they’ll be the same at Portman Road.”

Millwall should have added a second goal late on against Forest, but Steve Morison’s close-range strike came back off the woodwork.

Harris said: “We could have made it a little bit more comfortable for ourselves with a second goal, Stevie’s hit the post.

“We knew it was going to be a close game, two different styles of play. Forest want to pass, pass, pass whereas we want to get the ball forward a little bit quicker and force the issue.

“Certainly for the first 35, 40 minutes we completely dominated and were excellent. We pressed the ball, forced mistake after mistake.

“If we had just used the ball slightly better on the counter-attack we could have had more end product.

“But the same as Boxing Day, the goal was worthy of winning any game. It was a great goal from Tunni. I won’t lie, he doesn’t score many in training either. It was a great finish.

“They are the fine margins, you look at [Jack] Colback’s chance in the second half when he tries a scissors kick as well and it goes straight at Jordan [Archer]. That goes in the corner then it’s a different game.

“We could have been slightly better the last 20 minutes with the football to make life easier, but where we are at the moment, six points in four days is a great turnaround.

“Boxing Day was all about the result, it was a six-pointer, a cup final against Reading. We got some fortune with the red cards, scored a very, very good goal. We didn’t play at our best but we were delighted with the three points.

“It didn’t take the shackles off, but it let everyone relax a bit and gave everyone confidence and belief. We took it into today and I thought we were excellent for periods. The atmosphere in the stadium was fantastic.

“Forest showed great appreciation for their manager from their fans, and our fans fed off that as well. It was a great advert for Championship football.”

Harris was asked about reports that Aitor Karanka's job is under threat after a fifth game without a win.

He responded: "It’s modern-day football, short-termism, short memories. It’s a big football club that craves Premier League football and they spent money in the summer. All us managers understand the pressure and the demands of the game.

"I think he’s a smashing fellow and a good manager so I’d like to see him given time, that’s for sure."

Karanka was told about Harris' comments and said: "I say thanks to him. I know how tough this job is but I can’t go home now thinking what is going to happen or isn’t going to happen, I need to think about recovering the team as soon as possible. This Championship doesn’t give you time to complain. It’s just, keep going and in two or three days we have the top-of-the-table team at home."

Meanwhile, Harris confirmed that Lee Gregory will have a scan on his calf after he went off in the 57th minute.

Tom Elliott was also substituted but that was more precautionary.

Image: Millwall FC 

John Kelly