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Harris describes "excellent" Portugal period

The manager previews U's test...

20 July 2018

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Millwall boss Neil Harris has stated that his squad will play "near enough" 90 minutes each over the course of the next two pre-season friendlies.

The Lions travel to Colchester United on Tuesday night but first make the trip to Cambridge United's Abbey Stadium on Saturday afternoon (kick-off 3pm) looking to build on a 5-0 win over Dartford and a week away in Portugal.

Speaking on the pre-season camp in the Algarve, the manager told that the week was "everything he expected."

"From a general perspective, it was a brilliant week," he said. "First and foremost the venue, the location we was at, the pitch quality, was all top draw.

"The opposition in the games was exactly what we expected. We played against a strong Farense team where we were the better team and came out victors, before we played a Braga side who were very, very good.

"Unfortunately for 30 minutes we didn't play very well, gave some poor goals away and got beat, but there were some really good points as well, especially in the second half.

"I mixed the teams up in both games and the boys got the minutes they desired - the bonus was Shaun Hutchinson, who missed a period of training before the trip, is now back fully fit. Everyone came back fit and healthy, the players had some good bonding time and the staff really enjoyed it. It was excellent - everything we expected.

"We've been back here for a couple of days working hard and we look forward to two good games against two tough opponents."

The forthcoming friendlies against the duo of League Two teams will each provide a different test for Harris and his squad ahead of the Sky Bet Championship opener against Middlesbrough on Saturday 4th August.

The boss told of his plans for both fixtures, citing a need to "be bright on the sideline" over the next four days.

"There'll be important minutes for people like Hutch, plus James Meredith. Some players will play 90, some will play 60 or 75. Because of the forecast weather, we have to manage by the eye as well. Sports science plays a part, but we have to be bright on the sideline and keep an eye on things and make judgement calls.

"The idea is that the squad will play near enough 90 minutes over the next two games. Everyone will travel to Cambridge, but some won't feature. Those that don't will start on Tuesday heading into Bochum."

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