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Harris happy with mentality after Cup comeback win

The manager's thoughts on Carabao Cup victory...

29 August 2018

Millwall manager Neil Harris says he is 'delighted' with some of the performances of his players on Wednesday night as The Lions came from behind late on to beat Plymouth Argyle 3-2 in the Carabao Cup Second Round at The Den.

Trailing at half-time and with seven minutes remaining, a Shaun Williams penalty followed by late goals from Lee Gregory and Aiden O’Brien proved enough to enter Harris’ side into the Third Round draw on Thursday evening.

“I was really pleased with the mentality of the group coming into this game, and I’m delighted with some of the performances,” the boss says.

“Some of the use of the ball tonight was really good. Plymouth made it difficult for us, but we learnt from the weekend when we didn’t use the ball quite so wisely.

"The deliveries into the box improved as we went along, and I’m really pleased with the players overall. We created a lot of chances in the second half.”

Harris outlines the importance of getting back on track ahead of two more games in succession at The Den, namely vital League clashes against Swansea City and Leeds United.

“During a challenging period for all of us with two poor results on the road, it’s now a realisation that it’s not the end of the world. Tonight was important not just off the back of two defeats, but also as the first of three home games.

“We made hard work of [tonight] because we gave two rubbish goals away. When you give away those types of goals, you give yourself a chance of getting beaten, so I’ve reiterated to the group that we have to be better.

“But we have a massive game Saturday against a top Swansea City side coming up, and that’s all that matters in our season right now.”

The former Lions striker praises the impact of his three attacking substitutes, two of whom notched the all-important touches to send the team through.

“I’m really pleased that Lee Gregory scored a real poacher’s goal, and how Aiden O’Brien pops up in places defenders don’t want to mark you.

“I thought those two players and Jed Wallace coming on injected a freshness into us, and that’s the importance of key players like them.”

Harris also commends the display of Jiri Skalak, who played a key part in providing opportunities to come from behind.

“I thought [Jiri Skalak] got better as the game went on and that was clear for everyone to see.

“I think he looked a lot fitter and sharper, comfortable on both sides of the pitch and I thought in the last 20 minutes he worked really well with Mahlon Romeo, putting some dangerous balls in.

“I think tonight we saw Jiri’s quality properly for the first time. He brings that aggressive attacking style attitude-wise, and he puts balls into the box. You don’t have the season he had at Brighton when they got promoted without having real quality.”

Lastly, the manager touches on his decision to recall young midfielder Harry Donovan for the Cup tie, who was an unused substitute tonight following time on loan at Dagenham & Redbridge - where he can now return following his call-up.

“We were able to call Harry in to potentially play tonight, with Ryan Tunnicliffe not fit to play and George Saville still concussed. He can go back out on loan as rules are different for the National League.

“If things had gone slightly different, Harry would definitely have got some minutes tonight.” 


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