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Harris: "The boys are fighting for the shirt and for the club"

Manager talks in glowing terms after his side's victory over West Bromwich Albion

6 April 2019

Neil Harris has emphasised the importance of a solid performance and three points from his Millwall team after claiming a 2-0 win over West Bromwich Albion at The Den.

Ryan Tunnicliffe's opener and a Ben Thompson effort deflected home off the later-dismissed Ahmed Hegazi secured three crucial points for Harris' team, coupled with Jay Rodriguez's missed penalty in the second half.

"We were excellent today," the manager beams.

"We faced a side in the top four of the League, and we were far the better side. If they'd scored the penalty, it would have been harsh, because we deserved to win the game.

"We had numerous chances, and that's up there with about as well as we've played this year - our attacking play was outstanding. A lot of people, I wonder sometimes, think if we make it up that the spirits are high around the camp and the players have trained really well. But the players are great, and they come in every day and work hard."

Harris claims the display demonstrated the 'characters' in his squad, and says his team are "reaping the rewards" from their recent efforts.

"We just have to focus one game at a time. We want the players to be at their best and try and play freely, without fear. Today, we showed the characters we have and the individual players we have playing really well.

"Collectively we have a group with plenty of continuity in the team, and we're reaping the rewards. Players in the team are playing well; players on the bench want to get back in the team. It was a really strong performance from us today."

The boss acknowledges the good fortune which The Lions rode at times, but that it is an integral aspect in football.

"As good as we were and the chances we missed, we know we had some fortune, regarding the penalty which missed the target.

"But the build-up to both of our goals was great. The second goal - Thommo [Ben Thompson] does really well, and the fortune that came from that is something you need in football. Fortunately, luck was on our side as well."

Harris says he fully expects the survival battle in the SKy Bet Championship to go the distance, and that there will be plenty of twists and turns in the final month of the campaign.

"It's going to be up and down for the rest of the season - we know that.

"All we can do is control our own performances, and try to control our results. The display today has been coming - it could have been four or five, and I feel it has been coming after our performances against Birmingham, Brighton and Leeds.

"We have to just try and replicate the intensity we played at, and the aggression we showed with and without the ball. I'm not talking about topping people or picking up yellow cards - I'm talking about running past opponents, pressing the ball, and today that was outstanding by the group. The boys are fighting for the shirt, for the club, and they want to stay in what is a great division."

The manager concludes by explaining how vital it is to compete with some tremendous teams in the second tier, along with commending the support inside The Den and looking ahead to another highly anticipated contest with QPR on home turf this Wednesday night.

"The division we are in has come fantastic teams - Norwich put four past QPR today and could well have scored even more, and last week we were full-throttle against Leeds and played really well, but they were just the better side.

"It's a great division which we want to be in next year - to do that, we have to keep playing like that and winning points.

"What a game Wednesday night will be - hopefully that puts more bums on seats in the stadium, and we need the support. The fans today were outstanding. It understandably got a little bit nervy when West Brom had some of the ball with 10 men, but today the fans' support of the players and the players' performance came together. We need that again on Wednesday night."


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