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Harris: "The players have given me everything and more"

The boss reflects on a narrow defeat despite encouraging display at Stoke

22 December 2018

Neil Harris has credited the display of his players after going down to a slender Sky Bet Championship defeat at Stoke City.

Despite Millwall continuing to pressurise The Potters late on at the bet365 Stadium, Saido Berahino's header just past the hour mark handed Gary Rowett's side all three points as The Lions wrapped up their away campaign for 2018.

"The players have given me everything and more," the manager claims.

"They've given me a strong performance. I've looked at the stats - Jordan [Archer] has saved one shot from 32 yards.

"Other than that, one cross comes in which [Berahino] heads into the net, and then we've got all the chances. They had a lot of the ball, they put about three crosses into the box either half, but they've scored the goal. We've been close from the counter-attacks, but just that bit of fortune and quality in the final third didn't go for us today."

Harris insists his team must take the positives from the match into the Boxing Day clash with Reading at The Den, and describes the festive period as 'massive'.

"Performance-wise, that was very good. I said to the players that the level of performance today, and in the second half at Preston, is what we take into next week - which is massive for us now.

"We have three huge games over the Christmas and New Year period, and we need to be winning games now."

The boss says he looked to lift the players' spirits following the final whistle, and is confident that maintaining promising showings will earn victories and clean sheets.

"The group came into the dressing room disappointed because of the result straight away. But I said to them that it was an excellent performance, and that their one effort on goal in our penalty area ended up in the back of the net again.

"We had opportunities to score, had some good play and went more attacking towards the end.

"At this level, all we can do is put in that level of performance, which will get us clean sheets in the long run and win us games of football."

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