Millwall manager discusses midfield options with Jed Wallace banned for Fulham clash

NEIL Harris has to decide between Jiri Skalak, Shane Ferguson and Aiden O’Brien to replace suspended winger Jed Wallace against Fulham at Craven Cottage on Wednesday evening.

Wallace will serve a three-match ban after his red card against Sheffield Wednesday, also including in the league at Middlesbrough on Saturday and at Oxford United in the second round of the EFL Cup next Tuesday.

Millwall decided not to appeal referee Gavin Ward’s decision after Wallace’s late tackle on Kieran Lee.

“There are various ways that we can play and that’s the beauty of the new-look squad. There are various shapes we can play,” Harris said.

“In a four-man midfield Jiri looked fantastic pre-season. We know Shane’s qualities in that position and Aiden played there for four years, so lots of options for us.

“What you have to do with the red card is prove that the referee got it wrong. As much as we thought that on another day with another referee it could have been a yellow card, we didn’t feel there was enough evidence to dispute it was a tackle that the referee got the decision wrong.”

Millwall are unbeaten in four games this season, after Saturday’s 1-0 win over the Owls with 10 men for more than a half.

Defender Mahlon Romeo revealed the players relished the challenge ahead of the second half at the weekend.

Harris said: “It’s a sign of confidence and belief in the shape and organisation that we have. We’re a team that’s used to not having the ball, we have to stand strong.

'It was a real sense of achievement'

“It’s also a mentality thing, a siege mentality. We knew it would be a struggle at times and difficult to get up the pitch and away from our goal to put pressure on them. But we felt quite reliable in the way we could defend. The players saw it as just another challenge.

“At times last year it was almost a feeling of relief coming of the pitch. This was a real sense of achievement. I said to the club press after the game it was probably one of my most pleasing wins as a manager just because of the way we had to do it.

“It wasn’t very good, the first half hour, we gave away the ball far too cheaply. We never looked like conceding a goal but we weren’t very good with the ball. I wanted to focus on the positives afterwards and saw what a positive display it was. It was very impressive.”

Image: Millwall FC 

John Kelly