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Harris summarises Blades loss

Read the manager's thoughts after home defeat

29 September 2018

Millwall boss Neil Harris bemoaned his side's inability to perform for 90 minutes at The Den after Saturday's 3-2 defeat to Sheffield United and challenged himself to find the answer.

Billy Sharp gave The Blades the lead in the first-half after missing a penalty kick, but Jake Cooper and Lee Gregory's goals turned the game on its head within three second-half minutes.

However, a second United penalty was this time converted by David McGoldrick, who also struck late to win the game.

Speaking to millwallfc.co.uk after the game, Harris looked back at the topsy-turvy afternoon by saying: "I can only stand in front of you and be as honest as I always am. There was nothing in the game in the first-half. Then the penalty went against us I thought "here we go again" - bad luck. Willo is outside the area when the ball hits him from an inch away.

"Then when it's saved you think "here we go, this is us," but then we give a horrendous first goal away and come in at half-time a bit flat.

"I asked the boys for a reaction and to be individually better. Tactically there was nothing in the game. They've had one chance and scored, we've had one chance and not scored. I told them to stick at it and rise to the occasion.

"In the second-half we came out and for 20 minutes were excellent. We absolutely bossed it, played on the front foot and they did I everything I asked for - they produced. But then the game swings again on a second penalty decision.

"If I'm Sheffield United, I want it. Do I think he's bought the penalty? Yes. But then you at least end up a 2-2 and you get the point. But we don't and the third goal is embarrassing. There's no other word for it. I can't accept that."

The manager went on to question the reasons behind the mental block late on in games and also stated that the run of bad form has been "character-building."

"Lee Gregory was outstanding for 90 minutes. There were some really good individual performances and the team collectively at the start of the second half were very good. But why can't we do it for 90 minutes at The Den? It's my job to try and find the answer.

"You have to question the players individually. That's five home games in a row where we've been leading going into the 80th minute and we've won one of them - that's not good enough.

"We're raw because we're not used to it. I've never had to deal with this before. It's definitely character-building. People are asking questions of me and the players and rightly so, the results aren't good enough. That's the bottom line.

"My frustration is that players who performed to such a good standard last year aren't performing to that standard. That's not me having a pop at my players, that's just the reality of it. If they're honest with themselves then they know that as well. That's where I have to find a team selection for Wednesday to beat Nottingham Forest."


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