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Harris delivers stinging assessment of first-half performance at Loftus Road

The manager's thoughts on R's loss...

19 September 2018

Millwall boss Neil Harris accepted full responsibility for his team selection in Wednesday night's 2-0 defeat to Queens Park Rangers at Loftus Road but also bemoaned his side's inability to compete.

Massimo Luongo and Ebere Eze were on target in two first-half minutes in West London to condemn The Lions to defeat - and despite an improved second-half performance in which Jake Cooper crashed a header against the crossbar, Millwall could not find a way past Rangers stopper Joe Lumley.

The manager told millwallfc.co.uk that a "lack of personality and leadership" led to the club's downfall.

"It was an improved second-half performance because it couldn't get any worse than the first-half," he said.

"I take full responsibility for team selection and tactics - it's not often I have to say that. I picked a team to perform better than that in the first-half, but they didn't. That's no sleight on the personnel and definitely not on Tom Bradshaw - he was one of our better players.

"If I could've changed the XI, I would've done. That's how disappointed I was. I put the captain on the pitch because we needed leadership and we needed a focal point to our attacking play.

"Tactics and personnel goes out the window in a London derby, it's all about playing the derby and the atmosphere. I spoke in-depth about it before the game and in the first-half, for whatever reason, my players didn't turn up.

"We got out-competed against a QPR side and I've just said to them in the dressing room that that won't happen with my teams. That won't happen up and down the country, north, south, London derby - I won't accept that again.

"I put that down to lack of personality in the team, a lack of leadership. They're good players and great lads, but I picked a team that wasn't good enough and I take full responsibility."

Next up for Millwall is Saturday's trip to high-flying West Bromwich Albion, and Harris believes The Baggies being favourites could work in The Lions' favour.

"They'll pick themselves up because they're good pro's and good lads, and they're honest. Whatever team I pick up at West Brom will go there and compete. Sometimes being a huge underdog in a game can work to your advantage.

"We've got to make sure that first-half performance doesn't happen again this season, let alone in the near future and that the team I pick is a Millwall XI that looks a threat going forward, but defensively is a lot more sound than we were tonight.

"We've been beaten by two horrendous goals."


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