Millwall working 'round the clock' before deadline

MILLWALL are working “tirelessly” to sign a striker before Thursday’s transfer deadline – but Neil Harris insists he is “absolutely delighted” with the squad he has.

Harris said it was “unbelievable business” to add Alex Pearce and Ben Marshall so far this January, but the Lions would like another attacker before business closes at 11pm on Thursday.

Harris revealed he has been in discussions with several managers and they are encountering similar difficulties to Millwall.

Millwall were twice close to loan deals recently, but one club changed the terms to a permanent transfer and demanded a seven-figure fee for their player. Another side’s progression in the FA Cup scuppered any potential move.

Asked if he was confident that Millwall would have added to their squad again by the deadline, Harris responded: "No, of course not – it is the January transfer window.”

He added: “As we stand I’m looking back on being able to bring Alex Pearce and Ben Marshall in and thinking that’s unbelievable business. I’m talking to managers all the time and they can’t get near a player. They’re trying desperately, people who have money to spend and they can’t get anyone.

“You speak to managers because you’re trying to pick up information and they are managers you trust. They’re saying the same thing, they’re trying to borrow players but clubs just won’t let them out.

“The FA Cup changes things. A team gets through at the weekend and then a player’s not available.

“That’s a club’s prerogative, I’ve got no problem with that whatsoever. I’ve change my mind on players going out three or four times.

“You have to adapt as you go. It’s not easy but everyone is doing the same. We want to get a player in and I’m sure as Thursday approaches things will soften a little bit.

“At the moment we’re working round the clock trying to do a deal. If we don’t, and I want to be clear, I’m absolutely delighted with the squad that we’ve got. I can rely on all of them to play and do well for me.

“It’s making sure we’ve got enough cover to get all the way through to May.

“Thoughts don’t change that a player or two will be allowed to leave, and we’re still working tirelessly to get someone in.”

Millwall let Sid Nelson move on loan to Tranmere Rovers yesterday, while Jiri Skalak could also depart.

The Lions face a crammed fixture list in February, seven games including the fifth round of the FA Cup against AFC Wimbledon.

Harris stressed the need for adequate cover over the final three months of the season.

He said: “We have to make sure the squad is big enough. The other day, with injuries, we went with Georgie [Alexander] and Jethro [Hanson] on the bench [against Everton] who, with due respect, aren’t ready to play in our first team but could affect the game from the bench if need be.

“It’s hard when you’ve got Tom [Elliott], Jed [Wallace] and Conor [McLaughlin] missing in the short term, Bradders [Tom Bradshaw] long term. We need enough players available for another cup game as well as the league. We have to get the balance right between players going out to play some football and making sure we do what’s best for our football club.”

Reports in the north east today have linked Millwall with a move for Rudy Gestede, 30, who has the same representatives as Jordan Archer.

Press in Yorkshire claimed Sheffield United's Leon Clarke was a target, but that is wide of the mark.

Image: Millwall FC 

John Kelly