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Harris discusses QPR stalemate

Manager commends back-to-back clean sheets

10 April 2019

Neil Harris has praised his side's "desire and work ethic" in Wednesday night's goalless draw with Queens Park Rangers in the Sky Bet Championship, whilst admitting performance levels in possession were not quite up to the bar set at the weekend.

Despite occasional chances at both ends, neither Millwall or John Eustace's QPR were able to break the deadlock and settled for the stalemate at The Den.

"It was a battle in a local derby between two sides at the wrong end of the division, neither of whom were wanting to get beaten," Harris says.

"Any thoughts about QPR coming with a lack of fight or confidence without a permanent manager were certainly expelled in the first 15 minutes, when they were very front-foot and aggressive.

"I think we probably got into better areas than QPR and had a bit more quality on the ball than they had, but we were nowhere near as good as Saturday in terms of having the ball in the final third. That's credit to them - we didn't quite have the same invention or spark as the other day - possibly due to the nature of the game. Both sides had a few chances, and we're indebted to Dave [Martin] for a great one-on-one save."

The manager has expressed his delight at successive clean sheets, with the point lifting The Lions into 19th in the League - remaining four points behind The Hoops with a game in hand.

"I'm sure QPR and John were after a clean sheet first and foremost, and it was a tough challenge for us.

"I'm delighted with the clean sheet, definitely. The back four and the goalkeeper have again done extremely well, and we showed a great desire and work ethic not to get beaten.

"Four points from two games at this stage of the season is a good return for us."

Harris remains positive at both the midweek contest and the run-in ahead, with six crucial games separating his team from survival.

"I'd rather be in our position than the five teams below us, especially with our game in hand as well.

"No one has an easy run-in - we just have to make sure we keep churning out these performances. The character for us is important.

"Yes, there was a different pace to the game than Saturday - where we played some great football and showed bravery to do so - but tonight, the players still kept wanting the ball. What I'm telling the boys now is that they had the spirit, togetherness and the character to do that. We showed we could stand up to their aerial ability - notably Matt Smith - we showed we could stand strong to their set-plays."

This Saturday afternoon brings a fresh challenge for Harris' men - no less than a trip to Bramall Lane to face promotion-chasing Sheffield United - a game the boss is, as ever, relishing.

"[Sheffield United] is a great challenge for us, similarly to Elland Road and Carrow Road.

"We may have gone to Norwich and Leeds and lost very narrowly, but they were two of our best away performances of the season. Sheffield United will be no different, we'll certainly be giving it a right go, our shape against theirs.

"It won't be a game for the faint-hearted. There will be a big crowd and a great atmosphere to play in, and my players will embrace and look forward to that."

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