Millwall boss on lack of Den goals and the positives against Sheffield Wednesday

NEIL Harris is confident his side will soon get back on the goal trail after a third blank in a row in the league at The Den in 2019.

Millwall drew 0-0 with Sheffield Wednesday on Tuesday night but had chances to win the game, the closest they came when Ben Marshall saw a late effort cleared off the line by Jordan Thorniley.

Harris switched back to 4-4-2 for the game with Lee Gregory and Aiden O’Brien the front two.

“I want us to score goals, we’re used to scoring goals here,” Harris said. “We’ve had to adjust how we play because we’ve not had a target man. I’ve not wanted to play Steve [Morison] from the start, we couldn’t play Tom Elliott and we couldn’t get anyone in in January.

“There’s been an element of people saying, ‘we play too direct’. Well direct has been good for us, ever since I’ve been at the football club, since 1999. It’s been very effective and we’ve been very difficult to play against.

“We’ve adapted slightly and we’ve passed the ball really well. We look a really good Championship team at times. But we’ve not been able to find the back of the net.

“I have to find the balance between the two. Sometimes you have to put the onus on the players and say, fellas we can work all week on it and have a game plan, we can coach you but you have to show those moments of quality. They have to do it regularly in training and transfer that to the games.

“Moving forward we’ll score goals.

“I focus on the positives. First half, outstanding. We dominated the game – Jordan [Archer] kicked the ball once in 27 minutes. That’s how much we dominated possession.

“We got into some really good areas, in behind their full-backs and around the penalty area. We forced set-plays.

“But in and around the penalty area we have to do better, we’ve got quality players and I expect better end product.

“Sheffield Wednesday changed at half-time and made it more difficult for us. We created enough chances to win the game. When you don’t get yourselves in front, and we’ve conceded a lot of late goals this season, everyone becomes a little bit edgy in the last 10 minutes and I think that was seen tonight.

“We certainly shot ourselves in the foot a number of times by giving the ball away cheaply. I said to the players they have to be calmer, more methodical, brave on the ball. Sometimes bravery is putting your foot through the ball rather than making a pass, sometimes you have to make a pass.

“The good thing for me is we’re back to being very hard to beat, especially here. If you can’t win the game I want to make sure we get a clean sheet and get a point. That was important tonight, another solid defensive display.”

Gregory went off late on, but Harris is hopeful the striker was just suffering from cramp.

Image: Millwall FC 

John Kelly