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"We need your support," insists Harris

10 February 2017

Millwall manager calls on fans to "put the pressure" on Southend United

Lions boss Neil Harris has paid tribute to the travelling fans who roared the Lions onto victory at Coventry City on Saturday, saying the support is "crucial" as Millwall fight for promotion.

"Our fan base is so important," Harris told millwallfc.co.uk

"We now have a lot of home games coming up. It's tough for the fans financially to come to games week in, week out but we need The Den to be vibrant and hostile - we couldn't have that without the fans."

"Southend United are a very good side and they will bring a large away following, it will be a cracking atmosphere and we need that support."

The Blues currently sit in sixth position on the League One table, just two points higher than Millwall. 

"We can jump above Southend this weekend and they will be doing everything they can to stop that from happening.

"It's a huge game because they are playing really well and have a very experienced squad. It's going to be competitive and it's going to be a good test for us."

Harris may be forced to shuffle his squad for the match, with midfielder Ben Thompson a "50/50" chance of recovering from a slight leg knock sustained in Saturday's clash with Coventry.

"Ben came off at half-time and we will give him every opportunity to get back into the squad this weekend. We are lucky because his twinge wasn't a bad one, but we will see how he goes on the training pitch.

"If he doesn't make it then we have players who can step up into his position, like Calum Butcher and Jimmy Abdou."

Striker Harry Smith is also expected to be available for selection after playing for the U23s on Monday, having been absent since early January with a leg injury.

And Harris hasn't ruled out making further changes to his squad as Millwall prepare to navigate a taxing run of six matches in 17-days.

"We need to strike a balance of having a consistent and settled squad but also making changes to freshen things up," he added.

"Recovery is key between fixtures, we found that with three games in six days recently. The players need to have as much energy in their legs as possible come kick-off and lasting right through 90 minutes."

Meanwhile, Southend goalkeeper Mark Oxley will miss the match with a fractured elbow, while forward Nile Ranger is available for selection after having a disciplinary ban lifted earlier this week.

Tickets for our clash with Southend United are available at the gate until kick-off. Buy yours online here.

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