NEIL Harris said Millwall deserved to be where they are in the Championship after 30 games – as he admitted after Saturday’s 1-0 defeat at Swansea his side lacked a clinical edge up front.
George Byers scored the only goal of the game three minutes before half-time when he fired home after Shaun Hutchinson had blocked his initial effort.
The Lions had a glorious chance of an equaliser in the 94th minute, but Jake Cooper couldn’t finish at the back post after Hutchinson had headed on Shane Ferguson’s corner.
Harris set his side up in a 4-4-1-1 formation with Ben Thompson playing off Lee Gregory up front.
The Millwall boss admitted his side have been lacking the presence of Tom Elliott. Steve Morison and Aiden O’Brien came on at the Liberty Stadium but Millwall lacked the quality in the final third to find a breakthrough. They are 20th in the table, four points above the bottom three.
Harris was more pleased with Millwall’s second-half display, when Mahlon Romeo and Jed Wallace drew impressive saves from goalkeeper Erwin Mulder.
“First half maybe we paid Swansea a little bit too much respect,” Harris said. “We were very disciplined, very organised barring a couple of times they got behind the defence in the first 10 minutes. Their passing patterns, movement and rotation was really impressive.
“We knew it was going to be, but it never really caused us an issue in the penalty area, we defended the box really well as normal.
“The difference going in at half-time was the second phase of a corner. Coming to Swansea I never expected my team to concede from a set-play, I’ve got to be honest. It should be us causing the problems the other way, which we did at times.
“So I’m disappointed with the players in that aspect that we gave too much away on set-plays. The goal is another freak one where it goes through legs and bounces up into the roof of the net. You need a little bit more fortune in that situation.
“We thought it might be a case of hanging in there, being disciplined and we will get a chance. And it came right at the end. My initial thought was that Hutch should do better and hit the target and then Coops puts his leg out on the goal-line and it goes wide.
“Frustration? Yeah, but happy with some aspects of the performance. It was another really good performance second half, I thought we dominated possession, certainly the first 25 minutes we were a lot more aggressive in our approach.
“What we didn’t do, after putting Stevie Morison a bit further forward, we didn’t adapt our play to utilise the second balls off him enough.
“My only gripe was the amount of positions we got in in the second half but we didn’t ask enough questions of the goalkeeper.
“They showed what a good technical side they are. I may look back and be a lot more pleased with the performance, but what’s clear is you get what you deserve after 30 games in this division.
“We need to be more clinical in the final third and more productive in the final third as well. Getting Tom Elliott back will help that.”
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