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Harris urges "lucky" Lions to rise to the occasion

27 April 2017

Manager hopes to have fully-fit squad available for Bristol Rovers trip

Neil Harris has urged his team to take advantage of their recent good fortune and "earn the right" to progress to the play-offs at Bristol Rovers on Sunday afternoon.

The Lions were a thrown a top-six lifeline as Southend United and Rochdale both missed opportunities to leapfrog Harris' side, who remain one point clear ahead of the final match of the Sky Bet League One campaign.

"We have to accept that we have had a little bit of luck in getting into this excellent position and we must make the most of it," Harris told

"It's bizarre. You play all season, more than forty League games and fifteen-odd Cup games and then it all comes down to one match. We have one final chance to get ourselves into the play-offs and we will have to be strong mentally.

"Nothing is going to be given to us, we have to go to Bristol Rovers and earn it."

The Lions boss says staying relaxed and focused in front of a sold out Memorial Stadium will be crucial to securing three points, and believes his players have learnt to thrive in pressure-cooker situations after an impressive Emirates FA Cup run that saw them best three Premier League clubs.

"We beat Watford, Bournemouth and the Premier League champions. Not only that, my players got the experience of travelling to White Hart Lane and seeing what it's like to play Tottenham, one of the best sides in the country," Chopper added.

"Yes it's high pressure, but we have to embrace these moments. We embraced the Emirates FA Cup run, that was brilliant. We had another fantastic run in the Checkatrade Trophy last year - we embraced that. 

"You go through so many seasons in your career with nothing to play for or you're at the wrong end of the table and fighting relegation. This season we have the chance to push for promotion and there's everything to play for on Sunday."

"The challenge I have is to strike the balance between keeping the boys relaxed and also firing them up and making sure they're ready to go to work. For whatever the reason, last Saturday against Oxford we didn't have the same energy levels that we've had in our other matches.

"My players will be better than they were last week. It's about being aggressive and being on the front-foot like we have been over the last three or four months. 

"We know what we need to do make it a special Millwall occasion." 

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