'A lot of changes are needed before next season' – Millwall boss reacts to achieving safety

NEIL Harris said he was “extremely proud” of his side after Millwall’s Championship status was secured at the weekend – but warned “a lot of changes” are needed before next season.

Millwall will head into a third straight Championship campaign after securing safety with two games left.

Millwall drew 0-0 with Stoke on Saturday before Harris went to his office at The Den with the rest of the management staff to see how Rotherham were doing at West Brom.

The Millers went a goal up and had they won would have moved to within a point of Millwall, but the Baggies’ two late goals settled this season’s relegation scrap. Rotherham joined Bolton and Ipswich in League One.

“It’s horrible really because we’re celebrating Rotherham’s defeat and they have been an absolute credit to their football club and done really well,” Harris said.

“But you have to look after yourself. We worry about ourselves and if we hadn’t conceded so many poor goals at the start of the season we would have been in a much healthier position.

“It’s a realisation of the enormity of the task to recruit players over the summer. Saturday at five o’clock there was relief, definitely, we had to be frank and honest about it.

“The time to look back on the season will be Sunday, really, and onwards. We can talk about disappointment on the back of a wonderful year last year but there is also the reality looking back in the cold light of day that it’s an achievement to stay up.

“It’s been a tough season, off the field as well as on the field. A lot of changes need to take place before we kick off next season, and they will take place.

“I’m extremely proud of the players for competing at this level. We’ve made it difficult for ourselves at times by throwing away goals during the season.

“We have to be realistic to understand that we’ve had three fantastic seasons and ridden the wave of progress, but this year, as in life, there’s always going to be a step backwards. A mini-recession, so to speak.

“That’s the way it’s been for us this year. We have to make sure that we now start rebuilding, again. Four years in charge has been a happy period for me. But I have to be realistic that we have to look to change certain things and move forward – and that will be the case over the summer.”

Image: Millwall FC 

John Kelly