Millwall boss won't criticise referee – as he says QPR draw is point gained

NEIL Harris admitted Millwall didn’t deserve more than a point against QPR – but refused to blame the referee after some controversial first-half calls.

Harris felt Joel Lynch could have been punished when the defender appeared to clip Lee Gregory, who was beyond the last defender.

Referee John Brooks annoyed the home fans as he seemed to award John Eustace's side some soft free-kicks.

QPR defended resiliently, after their 4-0 defeat to Norwich last weekend.

Millwall moved up one place in the Championship to 19th, with Rotherham, Reading and Wigan all failing to win.

“I think it’s a point gained. We didn’t do enough to win the game, neither team did,” Harris said. “Any of you local London reporters who thought that QPR might turn up and get rolled over at The Den, that got dispelled in the first 10 minutes with the challenges flying in.

“I thought it was a great derby played a great tempo, but lacked quality at times because of the pace of the game.

“We weren’t inventive enough in the final third, didn’t have those moments of quality we had at the weekend to really cause QPR big problems.

“But I’m delighted with the goalkeeper, the back four and the whole team with different characteristics from Saturday. That was probably the biggest team we’ve faced this year, barring Boro. We had to stand strong to the direct play, the long throws and the set-plays. We did, we managed that.

“To get a clean sheet at this stage of the season – two in a row – is pleasing and it’s pushed us up the table again, which is a real positive looking at other results. At the end of the day every point is going to be important.”

Harris thought QPR had an escape when Gregory threatened to go through.

Harris said: “I’ve seen it from different angles, and the more you see it the more you can debate things, but sometimes you’re better off seeing things in real time with a football brain. I said to the ref afterwards that anytime a player gets between the ball and another player it has to be a foul. If it’s a coming together it’s a foul.

“It doesn’t matter if he’s the last man, the first man at the other end.

“Is it accidental? Is it a red card? I don’t know, I don’t make the rules. I don’t know who knows what the rules are anymore. It’s certainly a foul.”

Ryan Tunnicliffe also appeared to ship a strong tackle from Josh Scowen in the game’s opening minutes.

“I’ve not seen it back,” Harris said. “I talked about luck at the weekend, the missed penalty by West Brom and us getting a little bit of luck with ricochets for goals and things. Tonight I felt – certainly in the first half – things went against us a little bit with the referee.

“We can’t control that, and I’ve not come up here to talk about the ref or moan about things. It was two teams that didn’t want to get beat. QPR had a reaction from Saturday and I think John will be really proud of his players.

“I look at the positives with my team.”

Millwall were in the relegation zone during the Championship half-times on Wednesday, before Aston Villa came back to defeat Rotherham.

Harris said he didn’t look at other scores at that stage.

“No, you can’t control them. I’m pleased I’m not sitting with you guys [press] then, worried about what’s going on. I have to keep focused on us trying to win games and being hard to beat. My team was hard to beat tonight.

“On the back of two home games, two tough games in different ways, four points is a good return.”

Image: Millwall FC 

John Kelly