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Harris hails backroom team at Millwall

Read the manager's thoughts after agreeing a new deal at The Den...

27 June 2018

Neil Harris has reserved special praise for his backroom staff after signing a new long-term deal at Millwall - but says a collective effort from everyone connected with the club has played a key part in their recent success.

The 40-year-old has been rewarded with a new contract following an impressive three years in charge of The Lions to date - which most recently saw them finish eighth in the Sky Bet Championship - but was quick to credit the staff who he works alongside for their part in that success.

Assistant manager David Livermore and first-team coach Adam Barrett have also signed new contracts, with the inclusion of new goalkeeping coach Lee Turner over the summer.

He told "They're both excellent coaches and both very popular amongst the players. They're really good characters. I've known both for a really long time.

“They're trustworthy guys and have been a huge part, as have all the coaching staff and the recruitment staff, of our success to date.

“We’ve got Lee (Turner) in as well and look forward to working with him and pushing forward with new ideas and so forth.”

He added: “But it’s not just the coaching staff, all the people in recruitment – everyone at the club plays a huge part.

“It’s not just the coaches, it’s the kit department, the kitchen staff and so forth.

“We all enjoy working together and so far we've enjoyed a lot of success. We want to continue building though. We’re delighted for Adam and David.

“Other things go on behind-the-scenes that don’t get publicised, the fitness coach Laurence Bloom is in his element at the moment.

“He’s a wonderful member of staff who works tirelessly to make the players fitter and stronger. We certainly saw the rewards of that last season."

Pre-season training began on Monday at Calmont Road ahead of preparation for the 2018/19 Sky Bet Championship campaign, and Harris says it’s vital the players push themselves to their absolute limit if they want to continue improving both individually and collectively.

“It’s the mental side of it, if they’re starting to struggle do they dig in? At the end of the day that’s what we have to do as a football club during the season," Harris said.

“That’s been our strength as the underdog, digging in and trying to overcome hurdles. The tests the players are doing at the moment are really important markers to set out their fitness schedule for the rest of pre-season and targets to hit throughout the season.

“I remember the days of doing that, it’s not pleasant and it’s not easy. It’s part of the job though, your wellbeing and your fitness levels have to be really high in the modern game – it’s their responsibility.

“If they need help during pre-season then the staff are on hand to do so. But ultimately if they want to be in my team this year they’ve got to be fit."

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