Millwall boss felt his side deserved at least a point at Huddersfield – and some penalty luck

NEIL Harris praised his side’s “character” after they came back from a goal down at Huddersfield Town before defending resiliently and claiming a point in their Championship clash.

Frazier Campbell gave the hosts a 24th-minute lead before Matt Smith levelled four minutes before half-time with his third goal of the season.

Shane Ferguson was sent off for two yellow cards, the second when he brought down substitute Adama Diakhaby just outside the box 11 minutes from time.

“First, let me start by praising the players, the first half they were outstanding,” Harris said. “We deserved to be in front at the break. It was good character to come from behind and equalise.

“I was really pleased with the players. A little bit of criticism for the fact we didn’t keep the ball as well second half and ultimately it leads to counter-attacks against you when you’re running back towards your own goal. There were no real problems, Bart’s [Bialkowski] not made any saves.

“If we’d been better with the ball second half we’d have created more chances. But then praise again for the players, we go down to 10 men and they dug in and defended well and scrapped.

“The least we deserved was a point.”

Harris felt Ferguson had to make the two fouls that led to his bookings. Ferguson’s first came after he had stopped Diakhaby from counter-attacking.

Harris said: “In a completely professional manner it is [necessary to commit fouls], they were two fouls that we had to make. Rightly or wrongly it’s helped us get a point today, and he pays a price for other people’s mistakes, really. It costs Shane for Wednesday night [at Luton].”

Harris made five changes from the 2-1 defeat to QPR last Saturday.

He brought experienced midfielders Shaun Williams and Ryan Leonard back into his side.

“We have three games this week,” Harris said. “Thommo’s [Ben Thompson] still a little bit up and down as a youngster finding his way. I’ve been really pleased with Jayson [Molumby] but I felt that today we needed the two experienced players in there.

“Their form’s been up and down as well but they are a good pairing. Lenny wants to run and step forward and I thought he was outstanding, one of his best games in a Millwall shirt. He deserved a goal.

“Shaun gives you that balance and playing with Fergie at left-back I thought we had the right balance today.”

Huddersfield had two penalty claims in the second half. First, Karlan Grant went down in a crowded box, before Diakhaby felt he was fouled by Jake Cooper.

Harris added: “I was worried. The first one I thought there was nothing in it. The second one was a long way away from me and Danny [Cowley] so I couldn’t tell for sure. I haven’t spoken to the players but if we have got away with one then it’s one that we deserved to get away with because Jed [Wallace] has a great run, takes on [Tommy] Elphick in the penalty area, has a shot, the keeper makes the save of the day – he made some good saves today – and the referee gives a goal-kick.

“The fourth official is saying to the referee ‘he’s saved it, it’s a corner’ and for whatever reason the referee chose to ignore his fourth official and his linesman, gave a goal-kick and ultimately we needed to defend better, but they scored.

“If we did get away with a penalty then we certainly deserved it.”

Image: Millwall FC 

John Kelly