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Lions must stand strong, says the boss

The manager previews Boxing Day encounter...

24 December 2018

Millwall boss Neil Harris has labelled Boxing Day's Sky Bet Championship meeting with Reading as a 'six-pointer'.

Following Saturday's fixtures, The Lions and The Royals currently occupy 22nd and 21st in the League table respectively and are only separated by goal difference.

With 20th-placed Rotherham United three points in front, the magnitude of Wednesday's match was not lost on Harris, but he told that supporters could be "encouraged" by the weekend's performance at Stoke City, in which The Lions once more competed and created a host of chances against the big-spending Potters.

"It's a massive game. It is a six-pointer at this stage of the season," he said. "The fans that went to Stoke - some of them will be frustrated, but the ones that stayed and applauded the players off would've been really encouraged by the performance.

"But, ultimately, it's about winning games, and that's what we've got to do - win games of football."

The boss went on to explain how fine margins are costing his side, but praised their ability to "dig deep", also expressing how the fans' backing - which has been outstanding so far in 2018/19 - will be needed across the festive period.

"As we're finding too often at the moment, the game is based on fine margins in The Championship. For various reasons we seem to keep falling on the wrong side of those margins. If you look at the first half of the season just gone, frustration is the main word that springs to mind.

"There have been so many periods in games where we've been on top against good sides and scored a lot of goals - home and away - but we've conceded too many. What I do know is this group of players has shown over a period of time its qualities to dig deep, perform, stand strong together as a unit and win football matches.

"The football comes thick and fast, with Boxing Day followed by Nottingham Forest at home on Saturday and then Ipswich Town on New Year's Day - three key games for us in the course of the season. With your support, we need to make sure we're at our very best."

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