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"We dominated, but the bottom line is we let in three goals," says Harris

The manager reflects on a frustrating afternoon in Berkshire

20 October 2018

Neil Harris has described this afternoon's 3-1 defeat against Reading as a game to take 'so many positives' from, but one ultimately frustrating as The Lions were unable to take a number of chances at the Madejski Stadium.

A double from Yakou Meite either side of half-time along with a controversial penalty scored by Sam Baldock secured the points for Reading in the Sky Bet Championship clash, despite Murray Wallace equalising with just one of a hatful of Millwall chances.

"The positives are, we were outstanding going forward," the manager says.

"We created lots of chances and dominated the game, and I've asked the analytical department to find out how many times Reading got into our final third, let alone our penalty area.

"I don't think Ben Amos had a lot to do at all. They've scored three times from every break into our box, and to be honest, that's not acceptable. We've given away three soft, cheap goals away from home. It's happened too many times this year."

Baldock's spot-kick on the stroke of the interval restored the lead for Paul Clement's team, after Tyler Blackett was thought to have been fouled by Mahlon Romeo - who it appears won the ball with the challenge.

"I've seen [the incident] from two angles, and I can't see how that can possibly be a penalty," the manager claims.

"Mahlon [Romeo] clearly wins the ball first, and the player has run over his legs. The referee took a long time to give the decision, but you can't do that - he has to be 100 percent sure before he gives it.

"At the other end, they're man-handling us every time we attempted runs into the box, and nothing was given. We've been on the end of a lot of wrong decisions this year, and we have to hope that over the course of the season it evens itself out."

Harris is unhappy with the manner in which the goals were conceded, but states that performance levels from the team remained as high as in previous League matches against Nottingham Forest and Aston Villa.

"Performance-wise, that was every bit as good as the Forest and Villa games. We've created a phenomenal number of chances from open play over the last three games - more so than we have done over the last three-and-a-half years.

"There were so many positives from the game - some of the performances both individually and collectively were good in so many ways - but we've let three goals in, and that's the bottom line.

"We've worked tirelessly over the international break to defend in our box and be better in key areas, but I'm not happy with how we've conceded those goals."

The boss finally discusses two vital home matches within the next week against Wigan Athletic and Ipswich Town - claiming that The Den must be an intimidating arena for the visitors to face The Lions in.

"[The next two games] are massive at The Den. Our form performance-wise at home has been outstanding, other than against Sheffield United. But we have to find that clean sheet-mentality, starting on Tuesday.

"We need to be ourselves too, because teams have found us especially difficult to play against at The Den. When you don't win away, it puts pressure on your home games. The mindset of the players has to be fully-focused and positive, as with the fans, who were excellent in their large numbers today.

"[Wigan and Ipswich] have players capable of hurting teams - but so have we. We need to put today right in these games, as fans would have been scratching their heads as to how we didn't win today."

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