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Harris talks ahead of Fulham contest

Manager discusses form, fans and Scott Parker's hosts

20 August 2019

Neil Harris is upbeat to continue a good run of form for Millwall as The Lions visit a dangerous Fulham outfit on Wednesday evening.

Harris takes his side to West London to face Scott Parker's side - who are among the promotion favourites in the Sky Bet Championship.

"What a game this is - a London derby, we're in great form and up against a brilliant Fulham side," Harris says.

"Fulham have improved since their opening day defeat at Barnsley, and we have seven points from three games along with a Cup victory. We're facing a team with a lot of Premier League qualities in it.

"My comments about it being a 'travesty' if Fulham weren't to go up were picked up by the press after last Saturday, but what I meant is that they're packed with experience, quality and promotion winners at this level. They have players who have played regularly in the Premier League. We know it's of course going to be a tough game, but it's just another obstacle for our players to overcome. The boys and the fans are looking forward to it, and we just have to go and give a good account of ourselves."

The manager has explained his thought process in preparing to face Fulham, and credits the squad assembled by The Cottagers.

"Fulham have that nous in this division, and it's why I expect them to be the side I've said. They have a good sprinkling of overseas players and an excellent backbone of British players.

"We won't overthink that on Wednesday night - it's still 11v11 on the pitch and we're in good form, so we will have the belief and the confidence in players both individually - some of them are playing right to the best of their ability - and as a group. The group looks very strong and solid. Whatever team I put out there, we're confident they will be at their best.

"Every game is different. I have to look at the strengths and weaknesses going into every match against each opponent, and how we think we can affect them. Obviously you look at previous results against upcoming opponents later on in the season, but right now we're focusing on a visit to Fulham on Wednesday night, alongside the number of games we're currently playing. We have to be sure to get the team selection right."

Harris says the squad can boast a clean bill of health, besides the three-match ban given to Jed Wallace following his dismissal last Saturday.

"There aren't any new injury concerns. Jed is suspended as we know - for a three-game period - and we've not appealed the decision.

"To overturn these calls, you have to prove that the referee has made a genuine mistake, and there can be a lot of debate surrounding it - we didn't think we could definitively prove that the officials have made a genuine error. It was a 50/50 call, they went red, and we still won the game.

"We have the after-effect now of Jed missing the next three games, but we have a fully fit squad besides that."

The boss finally credits the support of the fans so far this season and expects an excellent reception on the night in West London.

"The fans will get behind the team as they have done in every game this season so far.

"They really made a great atmosphere on Saturday before the game, during the first half when we weren't playing so well, and then rallied behind the 10 men after the red card to see the game out. They were great, they carried the team, and credit goes to the display of the fans as well as the players.

"If we can recreate that at Craven Cottage, which we will do, then the fans will really enjoy it. They'll see a very good Fulham side and an in-form, dedicated Millwall team battle, and it should be a cracking atmosphere."


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