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"We're really looking forward to the occasion," says Harris

17 May 2017

The manager opens up ahead of Saturday's Final...

Millwall manager Neil Harris has asked his players to give every ounce during this Saturday's Sky Bet League One Play-Off Final against Bradford City at Wembley Stadium (kick-off 3pm).

The Lions head to the national stadium for the second successive season following a Semi-Final victory at Scunthorpe United - and Harris is determined to make sure that the outcome is different to last year's 3-1 defeat by Barnsley.

The manager stated that the loss to The Tykes has been fresh in the memory of everyone all season, as well as explaining how The Lions' wealth of experience can stand them in good stead on the day.

"We've used the disappointment of last year's Final defeat as inspiration all season," he said. "I've used it in various team talks and team meetings to galvinise the group and I'm sure it will appear in conversations before kick-off on Saturday.

"The heartache last year was immense. Luck went against us on the day and we didn't perform to the best of our ability. We have to make sure that changes this year.

"The experience for Dave Livermore and I personally, we can lean on that, but the experience of certain players in the dressing room - Steve Morison, Tony Craig, Jimmy Abdou - and the younger players that played last year, such as Jordan Archer, they can lean on that as well.

"It's not just another fixture - it's way beyond that. There's a lot of focus around the day."

Despite having to play both legs of the Play-Off Semi-Finals in the space of 72 hours, a 13-day break between then and Saturday's Final has given the squad a chance to let the dust settle - something that Harris echoed.

"The turnaround between the Semi-Finals and now has given us a chance to recharge the batteries - we're looking forward to it.

"We look in a good place. We're healthy. The boys are in great spirit. That's intensified in the last couple of weeks, especially from the win - and the way we won - at Bristol Rovers. The message was clear after, too: we're there on merit - now lets go and win it.

"We were happy with the goalless Semi-Final first leg draw against Scunthorpe. The important thing was not to lose. We also knew we could go away and score goals. We knew it was a challenge, but that's when Millwall are at their best. We've proved that time and time again."

With all focus now on the Final, Harris proclaimed that whilst everything will be done to prepare the squad for Saturday, ultimately, it will be the players that will decide the club's fate.

"There's nothing between the two teams. We're both evenly matched, but have different styles of play. The League games have proven how little there is to separate both. I don't expect that to change much this weekend. Who gets the luck on the day may be the difference.

"We'll get the players in the right frame of mind, but it's then down to them to perform out on the pitch.

"I'll sleep better on Friday night this year than I did last year - I hope, anyway! I trust my players, I've trusted them all year.

"I want them to walk off the pitch and say they could not have done any more. If they do that, I'm a happy man. We're really looking forward to the occasion."

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