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The manager highlights Leeds win as "big moment" in the season

Harris talks away records and Play-Off chances...

17 May 2018

Neil Harris has admitted that he was "never happy" with the general perception regarding The Lions' away form in 2017/18.

Despite dominating countless games on the road in vastly improved performances before the turn of the year, Millwall received little reward when it came to final results.

However, a trip to Elland Road on 20th January changed the landscape of the campaign and made the rest of the division sit up and take notice.

The Lions were 2-0 up against 10-man Leeds United at half-time, but The Whites spun the game on its head with three goals in 16 second half minutes after the restart.

Tom Elliott and Jed Wallace had other ideas, though, scoring late on to secure a 4-3 success and a memorable victory.

The manager told millwallfc.co.uk that the manner in which the win came kicked The Lions on for the second half of the season.

"We'd be written off with regards to our away form. We'd heard that we only play well at home, only win at The Den and get beat away. I was never happy with that. If we touch on performances - Bristol City, Brentford, Fulham, particularly Villa Park just before Christmas was a big one. Again, we completely dominated a top four side and should've won the game comfortably.

"I think that win was a big moment for us. If you look back at Christmas, we'd lost the lead a couple of times and had some real bad luck. But, we didn't take chances - that's the bottom line.

"We told the boys to take their chances and the results will come. It was just the final end product. But when we got one, more flowed. You could say what if we won at Brentford, won at Villa, got a point at Fulham, what if we had more luck with penalty decisions at Brentford and during the season? But I'm certainly proud of what we've done away from home as well as at The Den.

"The Leeds one was a turning point. It was a rollercoaster of a game that Millwall fans will say 'that's a typical Millwall match', 'that's Millwall all over'. Being in control, throwing it away and then getting it back again.

"It was end-to-end. We played some of the best football we played all year but also some of the worst. To win away at Elland Road with a last-minute goal, snatching victory from the jaws of defeat, kicked us on. It kick-started the second half of the season and was an important one for us."

From there Millwall surged up the Sky Bet Championship table, winning six consecutive League games on the road and equalling a record set in 2009/10.

By the time that run ended at Ipswich Town on Easter Monday, The Lions were locked in a battle for sixth spot, but unfortunately fell at the final hurdle with defeats to Fulham and Middlesbrough.

Harris described the run as "extra special" and whilst the manager stated there was no defining moment in the season, one particular game highlighted a "real chance" of making the Play-Offs.

"[To win six consecutive away League games] is hard at any level of football. For us to do that, as a new team at this level, was extra special. Our form at The Den was exceptional and to lose just four games all season was exceptional. If you take Fulham out of the equation, the other three defeats were disappointing, but I'd rather focus on the positives.

"I wouldn't say there was a defining moment in the season, it was just that momentum we built. I kept saying that we were going like a steam train - Millwall are a very difficult club to stop when we're going like that, when you've got the unison between the fans and the players on the pitch.

"I think Brentford (at home) was a key one, it gave us that hope that we could finish in the top six. They completely played us off the park, yet we beat them with a first minute goal. You look at that and ask whether it's meant to be for us; are we going to make another Play-Off campaign. That highlighted to us that we can mix it with the best teams and that we had a real chance."


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