Millwall boss comments on his red at Middlesbrough – and makes fourth official revelation

NEIL Harris agreed with Jonathan Woodgate that his red card at Middlesbrough was harsh – and the Millwall boss revealed he was told by the fourth official that the Lions had a case for a first-half penalty.

Millwall earned a point at The Riverside when substitute Tom Bradshaw equalised seconds after coming on following Paddy McNair’s opener for Boro.

Harris was sent off in the first half following a confrontation with Boro coach Leo Percovich.

When asked about it after the game Woodgate said he felt the decision was harsh.

Harris responded: “It’s nice of Jonathan to say that, I don’t think there’s a problem between me and his staff.”

Harris added: “What I will say is I went to their technical area and that’s a no-no, so apologies to Jonathan and his group for that.

“We were so dominant in the first half I was trying to hurry the game up. He’s got the ball under his arm. I saw it and I wanted to hit the ball out of his arm. It certainly wasn’t aimed at the coaching staff.

“He’s moved, and I’ve hit him. No issue. I was a little bit surprised I was sent to the stand for it considering there’s never been an issue on the side-lines with Middlesbrough’s coaching staff.

“I was a little bit disappointed with that when I thought the fourth official might have had a bit more of an input into various decisions on the pitch.”

Millwall could have had a penalty late on when Ryan Shotton appeared to foul Bradshaw. Woodgate also claimed Boro could have had two penalties for handball.

Harris spent the second half in the stands.

“I was quite a long way away! I saw the reaction of his players when they thought there might have been contact ball-to-hand,” Harris said.

“I have seen the tackle by Ryan Shotton in injury-time on Tom Bradshaw which is a blatant penalty. From the angle I’ve seen he takes the player with a tackle from behind before getting the ball.

“First half we should one million per cent have had a penalty for pulled shirts. The fourth official told me so but said he couldn’t make that decision, it was down to John Brooks, the referee.

“So, look, there’s probably a couple either way we’re aggrieved with, me and Jonathan, but what I will say is first half I thought my team were excellent.”

Millwall put in an impressive away performance after losing 4-0 at Fulham.

Harris added: “I was really pleased with the reaction. The reaction to going behind, the reaction from Wednesday night’s defeat at Fulham.

“But there’s also a little bit of disappointment that we’ve not won that game. Matt Smith had some great opportunities to score and what I will say is the lad [Darren] Randolph was in the team of the year last year and today he showed why.

“Okay he might put his hands up with an error with a kick to Matt Smith’s feet, but the two saves first half are word-class saves. That’s why he’s an international goalkeeper.”

Image: Millwall FC 

John Kelly