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Harris analyses Hull draw

The manager discusses frustration with point at The Den

31 August 2019

Neil Harris has reflected on Saturday afternoon's 1-1 draw with Hull City at The Den in the Sky Bet Championship, claiming The Lions feel as though it is two points dropped.

Harris gives an honest and analytical assessment of the draw with The Tigers, which sees his side sit 12th going into the first international break of the season.

"Ultimately, this is now three games of football in a week we should have won," the manager stated to millwallfc.co.uk.

"The decision-making frustrated me. It is a positive that we've been to Middlesbrough and should have won the game, and it was well-documented that we played Oxford off the park in the week and should have won there too.

"That's the disappointment - I said to the players that we should be really pleased standing here with nine points from six games going into the international break, with seven points at home and only one goal conceded at The Den. But we're disappointed, because we completely dominated the second half today and a lot of the play was in their final third, but we didn't get enough balls in the box. With players like Matt Smith, Tom Bradshaw and later Jon Dadi Bodvarsson on the pitch, you have to service them. For whatever reason, we were turning down crossing opportunities and we could have put them under more pressure than we did."

The manager continues with his view on how the contest panned out, and declares the team must play to its strengths.

"I'm pleased with the players over the past three months, but today that was two points dropped.

"We've brought in Matt Smith who is the best in the business with service into the area, and we saw Jon Dadi's goal the other night coming from a ball into the box. The players have got to do it - I've told them to do it and it's something we work on.

"I think the equaliser killed the momentum in the stadium, to be honest. We were brilliant for the first 15 minutes and got our noses in front, and we looked really threatening. But then their goal goes in, a fluke - though Grosicki tells me otherwise - which if he does mean, it's some goal, but it flattened everybody and we became a bit edgy, which isn't Millwall. We regrouped at half-time and dominated the second half, and created a lot of clear-cut chances. We had Jed's effort at the start of the half, Ryan Leonard's header and there were plenty of ricochets around the box. Ultimately, the decision-making needs to be a little better at times."

Remaining in the top half despite the draw with Grant McCann's men, Harris admits he would have taken the current points return at the beginning of the campaign, and says plenty of work will be done over the course of the coming weeks for his side to reach its full potential.

"I certainly would have taken nine points from the first six games before the first game of the season, looking on paper at the games we've played. If I'm being greedy and crtitical of myself and the group, we should have won today and last weekend - and that's with all due respect to Boro' and to Hull.

"Ultimately, I'm pleased with the points return up to this point, but it's clear to see that we've been pretty reliable defensively on the whole but in the final third, we have moments where we look dangerous - almost unplayable - and other times where we make wrong decisions.

"The message is that we're a work in progress, we can be better and we will be better. I'm pleased with what we've done so far, but there's so much more to come, especially here at The Den in the last half hour, when we're attacking the Cold Blow Lane End. We've had moments in spells where it has just clicked, but we have to be respectful to the level we're at. We have loads to talk about and go through with the boys. The good thing for me is it's a group that are willing to learn and want to be better."


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