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Club News

2017/18 Season Review: Lions wrap up remarkable campaign

April and May under the spotlight...

18 May 2018

Millwall's attempts to set a new away consecutive League wins record fell at the final hurdle on Easter Monday at Portman Road.

Jake Cooper's first half goal put Millwall into the lead against Ipswich Town, but a quick-fire double from Martyn Waghorn turned the tables in East Anglia.

George Saville's low strike on the hour-mark levelled things up, but, despite incredible late pressure from The Lions, they were not able to snatch a winner.

Neil Harris bemoaned his side's inability to take all three points after the game.

"I know my fanbase have gone home happy, singing the players' names off the pitch - it's important to know they enjoy the effort my players put in. But it's my position as the manager to set standards and demand more. Today, I wanted three points and we should've had them."

Jed Wallace and Steve Morison were on target as Millwall completed a crucial 2-0 win over Bristol City at The Den on Dockers Day - Saturday 7th April - to stretch the unbeaten run to 15 matches.

Wallace curled home a stupendous strike to open the scoring on 11 minutes, with Morison doubling the advantage shortly after half-time.

The manager was a happy man following the victory.

"I thought our game management was brilliant today. Lee Johnson picked a team to play around and between us and keep the ball, but our shape, organisation and discipline from my players was as good as it has been in my time in charge.

"The first goal was first class and the second, if that was in the Premier League it would be shown time and time again. I'm really pleased."

A 2-0 win at Bolton Wanderers three days later sent Millwall into the top six. Tom Elliott, drafted in for the rested Morison, headed the first goal into the net on 34 minutes, before loanee Ben Marshall thumped home the second following an outstanding run and assist from Mahlon Romeo.

Despite the change in circumstances in the League table, Harris stated there was "no pressure" on his team with four matches remaining.

"There's no pressure. I think the Millwall fans will be pinching themselves a little bit! League tables don't lie after 42 games. We're in the top six because we deserve to be. We're on a great run and the boys are in form, individually and collectively.

"We've got four games coming up - whether we stay in the top six or we don't, what a fantastic season we've had. Credit to my players. What I know is those players won't rest on what they've done so far. They want to be in that top six. They want to be in the Play-Offs. Saturday at Sheffield United will be a great game. There is absolutely no pressure - we're enjoying it."

A keenly-contested afternoon saw The Blades and Millwall battle to a 1-1 draw at Bramall Lane on 14th April.

Leon Clarke raised the roof with the opening goal on 74 minutes, but within a minute of the restart, Jake Cooper's long ball was expertly volleyed home by Morison to equalise.

That result meant Millwall were without defeat in 17 games, but the run came to a halt in a televised tie with London neighbours Fulham on a hot Friday night at The Den.

The Lions had a goal disallowed in the first half on 'Jimmy's Day' and peppered The Whites' goal with chances, but had no reply to a stunning Fulham performance in the second half as they ran out 3-0 winners.

Regardless, three sides of the 17,614 inside The Den gave Harris' players a standing ovation after the game - something that didn't go unnoticed.

"Tonight's a great realisation for all of us. The standing ovation from our fans to the players at the end was respectful to where we are at the moment, but we've just played against a really good team who were better than us in the second half."

Play-Off hopes were all but ended in another game shown by Sky Sports the following Saturday, this time away at Middlesbrough - a game in which The Lions lost Romeo and Marshall through injury - but the club finished the season strongly by defeating Play-Off Finalists Aston Villa 1-0 at The Den courtesy of Shaun Williams' 30th-minute penalty-kick.

The manager was already looking ahead to 2018/19 shortly after the final whistle.

"The test and challenge for us now is to be better," he told millwallfc.co.uk. We've had a great year and I've told the players to be proud of what they've achieved, but we've got to come back better. I've got to recruit players that can take us forward, keep the squad of players we've got and take those small steps every transfer window."


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