Decision over midfielder's contract was 'tough' – as Millwall boss targets 'fresh impetus'

NEIL Harris admitted the decision over Ryan Tunnicliffe’s release was “tough” – but the Millwall boss emphasised his desire to add “fresh impetus” in midfield next season.

Tunnicliffe will leave Millwall when his two-year contract expires next month.

The former Manchester United midfielder joined on a free transfer after his release by Fulham in the summer of 2019.

Tunnicliffe, 26, struggled to become a regular in Harris’ side, starting just 41 league games for the Lions, the ninth club of his professional career.

Millwall announced last week he would depart this summer after his contract was not renewed.

“Really tough with Tunni,” Harris admitted, “he has made an impact at the end of the season.

“Losing Ben Thompson for the last four of five games was a big loss for us and we asked Tunni to play a little bit further forward. He has done well.

“When you look back over the two years, Tunni has been stop-start and wasn't really deserving of a place in the first 18 months of his time at the club. He stepped up towards the end.

“But we have to work within Financial Fair Play and budgets and structures and I want to bring a new centre-midfield player to the club, a fresh face in, new impetus to the group. Tunni is obviously out of contact and I’ve got Shaun [Williams], Ryan [Leonard] and Ben that have all different attributes to their game.

“I really like Jed Wallace in the 10 position in behind the striker. We’ve got Tom Bradshaw coming back fit, who can play off a striker as well.

“I want to bring another midfield player in and I have made it clear I want to change the dynamic of the group. It’s time for tough decisions, and Tunni was certainly a real tough one. He knows that, we have had some really good conversations and, again, it's another player we are saying thank you to and wish every success to.”

Image: Millwall FC 

John Kelly